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Artell: "Under-23 Fixture Demands Are Difficult For Us"

6 September 2018

David Artell says that having the Under-21 sides of Premier League clubs involved in the Checkatrade Trophy is ‘it is what it is’ but the Crewe Alexandra manager clearly feels that the demands of Under-23 football on his young does make things difficult.

Crewe Alexandra do not possess the resources to have a separate Under-23 squad to that of the first-team and a large number of players who are regularly involved at that level are usually named as substitutes for the first-team.

It makes things awkward when the Under-23s have a Friday fixture, sometimes based in the south with the first-team in action the following day.  

David told “It is what it is, they are certainly not going to listen to me whether my thoughts are good, bad or indifferent. I'm not even sure they'd listen to Crewe Alexandra to be honest.

“My only thoughts on it are that they are allowing under 23 teams in to bridge the gulf between under 18 football and first team football, and that's a good thing. So the Man Citys. the Stokes, it's a good thing for them.

“We all know there's a problem, the gulf is too big.

But the fact our under 23s have to play 32 games makes things difficult. The fact we had to play our U23s at Watford last Friday, is disgusting.

“But it's so restrictive it's ridiculous, we have to play 32 games at Crystal Palace away, Watford away, and it's not different to playing Stoke, Shrewsbury or any other.

“It's just game after game, but we have to travel four hours to it or we have to play on a Saturday. It's ridiculous. It's pointless.

He added: “For me, scrap under 23 football, go back to a reserve system, or drastically reduce the number of U23 games so we can set up other games we feel can develop our players.”

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