David Artell says that the work Crewe Alexandra conducted at Academy level to produce technical and tactical footballers’ helps with their versatility when they reach the senior side. Artell, who previously coached inside the club’s Academy structure before replacing Steve Davis as manager in January 2017, says that it only benefits him that he has young players at his disposal who are comfortable in a number of positions.
Before football was postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Alex manager said: “We have a lot of players who have come through the Academy here and they have played in different positions in the different age groups.
“It gives them a chance to experience different things on the pitch and they sometimes fall into their best position when you are open to that. I know some have changed positions and with the likes of Harry Pickering, Perry Ng and Luke Offord, they are perhaps not even playing in their best positions.
“That shows how good they are. They can play all over the place. Luke played right-back, left-back and as holding midfielder on loan at Nantwich Town and won a few man of the match awards. He didn’t play centre-half there but came back and slotted in there.
“Harry is at left-back but he has been considered as a midfielder and Dario always said his best position was as a number 10.
“Perry can play right across the back four and in midfield. He has played centre midfield for me in the past and we know he will do a job wherever he is asked to play.
The boss added: “It is great for a manager, to have utility players like that here. They certainly help me out when you know they are comfortable in various positions.”