David Artell believes that Crewe Alexandra provides one of the best places in the country for giving young players a chance at first team level. Only this season,the likes of Owen Dale, Harry Pickering, Billy Sass-Davies and Lewis Reilly have all marked their debuts for the club.
The club were recently placed in 9th position for Academy productivity in the entire country and Artell acknowledges that with the resources and finances we have that is an incredible achievement. For productivity, Crewe are the highest placed Cat 2 club and are placed just behind Liverpool in 8th.
Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are the top three for producing professional football who are playing throughout the football pyramid from the FA Premier League to the National League.
Artell told crewealex.net: “We already knew the result of the productivity table but it is nice to see it in the public domain. It shows that we are doing the right things and with the resources we have compared to other clubs, it is a tremendous achievement. It is a credit to everyone associated with the club and with the Academy.
“It is a feather in the cap if you like, but we know we can become better. We can make better footballers, technically, physically and mentally. That is the challenge going forward.
“I think we are attractive place for young players to develop. When I say attractive, if you mean that you are going to train in a state of the art complex or play games in a mini-stadium then we are not.
“If you think the attraction is that you have a good chance of playing first team football at 17, 18, 19 then we are. We have the pathway here and it is up to the parents.
The boss added: “The Premier League clubs will haul a large number of kids in, in the hope that one or two will make it through. They have a really aggressive recruitment programme and good luck to them, they can afford to do that but we like being smaller and working with our players. The staff work their socks off to make sure it works at our level and they should be proud of what they achieve.”