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"We Will Be Cautious With Zac"

23 November 2021

Boss says he will not overwork teenager after his rise into first-team ranks

David Artell says he will take all the precautionary measures to protect Zac Williams from burn out. The 17-year-old defender has played the last three matches in all competitions and Artell says that lessons have been learnt in relation to taking the younger players out of the team before their body tells them they need a rest.

Artell referred to the treatment of Luke Offord when he first broke into the team in the second half of our promotion winning season. Offord, now 22, played a crucial role in helping us up from League Two, but then suffered a serious hamstring injury against Bristol Rovers the following season which set him back.

The Crewe boss told the club’s official website: “Zac is bound to make the headlines because of his age and the fact that he can’t have a bottle of Champagne for being man-of-the-match - but we have to be careful with him as well.

“He is still only 17 and is still developing. He has played the last three games and done really well. He was our best player at Bolton there is no doubt about that. He won the man-of-the-match award on Saturday but I thought they were all magnificent.

“Zac has done well but he has a long way to go and a lot to work on still. He knows that but he has made a good start.

“We have to be careful with him and make sure he doesn’t pick up an unnecessary injury. It was the same with Luke when he first came into the team. He played 10, 12 games or whatever it was before Covid ended the season and then he suffered that hamstring injury during the following season. It was his body telling him he needed a rest and we should have seen the warning signs.

“It is the repetition of playing Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday when the body is not used to it and he have to be cautious.”

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