David Artell believes that the club’s developing relationship with Middlesbrough helped us secure striker Stephen Walker on loan. The England Youth International had other options to join League One clubs but he elected to move to Crewe after being suitably impressed by the way we play football and our commitment to youth development.
Walker felt he would get the opportunity to express himself in David Artell’s young squad and his parent club are committed to developing their own young players as much as we are.
The Alex boss felt that the mutual respect between the two clubs went in our favour in the end.
David told us: “"Massive credit to Stephen, he made it quite clear from the outset that he wanted to come to us, he was adamant.
"And massive credit to Middlesbrough, they could have made him go to someone else who would have paid them a lot more money for the sake of financial gain, but they didn't.
"He had other options, big big clubs who could pay them much more money than we can, so we're grateful to Middlesbrough, Jonathan (Woodgate) and the chief exec up there for understanding where we at.
"We've got a really good relationship with Middlesbrough. We had Callum Cooke and he did terrific for us, so we know they have a good academy which produces good players, we've seen that first hand.
"They place probably as much value on developing players as we do, they are a good club like that.
"So we appreciate that, and we have to provide a platform.
"They are placing a massive amount of trust in us and we have to make sure we help them with that, but the ball is in the player's court – if he wants to play in the team, he has to earn it. “
The boss added: "It's a deal which is mutually respectful. They are nice people who seem to have the same morals and values as us. I can't speak highly enough of that football club. There aren't many clubs like that."