Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell wants his fringe contingent to progress in the Cheshire Senior Cup this evening as the competition gives some of the younger players a chance to play against men.
The Alex boss says that playing against teams such as our local neighbours Nantwich Town only enhances their experience and future development.
Ahead of tonight’s clash with the Dabbers at Gresty Road, Artell said: “The Cheshire Senior Cup gives our younger players a rare chance to play against men. They don’t get that too often playing Under-23 football and it only benefits them in the long run.
“It is far closer to the first team for them. Lewis Reilly scored a hat-trick against Sheffield United on Monday in the Under-23s but they played their Under-18s and Lewis was up against a 17-year-old centre-half, so I would have been disappointed if he hadn’t scored. He is far above that now.
“We want to progress and give them as many opportunities as we can, so they have that experience. It is a real test for them and physically is it harder than development football.
“It is good for the younger ones to play established men's teams such as Nantwich, Witton, Stockport or whoever. Win, lose or draw it is a great experience for them to be involved in that and play at the Stadium. “