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'Big Connor Benefitted From Loans And More Will Follow His Route'

6 December 2021

Artell says more of our talented crop would benefit from playing mens football in the non-league

David Artell has told the club’s official website that the latest of our Academy graduates, Connor O’Riordan, benefitted greatly from going out on loan to Kidsgrove Athletic and Nantwich Town.

O’Riordan returned from his successful loan spells to mark his first-team debut against Doncaster Rovers in the Papa John’s Trophy. The 18-year-old produced another mature display to help Crewe progress in the competition before returning to Youth Cup duties on Sunday to help us through against Hull City.

Artell said of the promising defender: “Big Connor has gone out on loan twice and did very well. He got used to competing against men and the need to get three points. He hasn’t been used to that in his development and it is important that our younger players can get exposure of that.

“It is very rare for someone like Zac (Williams) to go straight through to the first team and he was all set to go out on loan before he got himself in the first team.

“Connor benefitted from the experience and he has come back and got his chance against Doncaster in the Papa John’s Trophy. He produced an assured display and will have gained a lot from playing against Doncaster’s first-team and the likes of Dodoo and Hiwula. You have to be on it against those types of players and he handled himself really well.

“Going out on loan to the non-league could be the pathway for others. It helps their development but we also have to be mindful of the fact that we have Under-23 games and he have to be respectful of that competition.”

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