Alex legend David Vaughan is preparing to help lead Crewe’s U18s into a new season as a full-time member of the club’s coaching staff.
The former midfielder, who enjoyed a stellar career after coming through the Crewe academy ranks, has been coaching on a part-time basis at Reaseheath for more than two years.
Now he is assistant to newly-appointed U18s Manager Ryan Dicker, and the pair are preparing to kick off the club’s Professional Development League campaign with a trip to Watford on Saturday.
Vaughan said: “Coming out of playing and adjusting to coaching takes a bit of time but I’m learning from Ryan and the other coaches, who are all really helpful.
“We are here to work with the players and improve them, teach them the philosophies of what Alex (Morris) is doing with the first team so that, if and when they do get the opportunity to play for the U23s or first team, they are ready.
“I wanted to stay in the game in some capacity and I came into Crewe when I was doing my coaching badges. It reignited a passion to try to help players come through at Crewe.”
Vaughan made more than 200 appearances for Crewe between 2000-2008, before going on to play for the likes of Real Sociedad, Blackpool, Sunderland, and Nottingham Forest. He also earned 42 caps for Wales and was part of their 2016 European Championships squad.
Dicker, who has worked his way up the ranks in more than a decade of coaching at Crewe, and was promoted to U18s Manager in March, said it is an exciting time.
He explained: “With the unbelievable playing career that Vaughany had, the boys can lean on his advice about what he’s been through and the different challenges he has faced.
“He’s a shoulder for me to lean on too and I can dive into his knowledge of the game. We don’t get many opportunities to work with players who played at the highest level and international level, so it’s a great experience for me.
“I’ll learn everything I can from Vaughany and hopefully he can learn bits off me. In terms of the work, not a lot has changed for me now I’m the manager.
“It’s still all about working with the players and trying to improve them. I just get more of a say on what the team is when the weekend comes around!”