Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell rightly believes that naming an Academy XI on the final day of the season proves that the club’s Academy structure is as strong as ever. Artell named a ‘home grown’ starting line-up against Cheltenham and two goals from the ‘veteran’ of the occasion, Shaun Miller sealed a deserved 2-1 win.
It is the second time in English football history that Crewe Alexandra have been able to field a team made up totally of Academy products and Artell says that the ‘door is as wide open as ever’ for kids to come through at Crewe.
Artell told crewealex.net: “It was hugely satisfying to name a team made up of Academy graduates. It is diminished slightly if you do not win but that is twice we have done it and twice we have won the game.
“In this day and age, in modern football, it is difficult to do but we have done it again. That is what this football club is about and why we are the third best Academy in the country. That isn’t me saying that, that’s the Premier League. There you go.
“The door is an open as it has ever been here for young players to make a career in the game. More so than probably any other club.
“We had the U-9s signing on the pitch before the game and those parents deserve great credit for choosing this club. Some of them have been lauded by other, bigger clubs, but they have remained loyal to us.
David: “Most of them get it. They see their sons playing professional football in 8, 9, 10 years’ time and they know that they will get the opportunities here. “