Under-23 coach Alex Morris believes that the younger players in the Crewe Alexandra squad would only have benefitted from having Michael Raynes lead them out against Leek last night.
The team comprised many of Under-23 players but the more senior Raynes, Brad Walker and Lewis Reilly also featured. Reilly was on target in the 1-1 draw via a superbly strike free-kick and Raynes obtained his first 45 minutes of the pre-season before coming off at the interval as planned.
Morris said of Raynes’ presence back on the pitch: “One of the main positives from the night was Michael coming through it. He came through unscathed and got 45 minutes under his belt. He hasn’t been able to train on the grass for a few months now and that first game is always a difficult one.
“It is always a challenge but Michael was fine and moved well, so that was a real positive from the game.
Alex added: “His influence is not just on the pitch but off it as well. The younger ones wouldn’t have been used to have someone as vocal on and off the pitch. It would have been a good experience for them to have Michael there because if they can progress and play in the first team then that is the environment they will have to get used to.”