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Alex Morris keen to lock horns with old academy opponent Neil Wood at Salford

11 August 2022

Crewe Alexandra manager Alex Morris and Salford City boss Neil Wood will need no introduction this weekend, after spending much of their youth battling it out in midfield as players.

Morris and Wood were in the same age group as they came through the respective academies at Crewe and Manchester United.

Though they don't know each other personally, they are familiar faces to each other due to the many contests they had as they were trying to make the grade.

Now Morris and Wood, both 39, will be trying to win a battle of wits on the sidelines at Pennisula Stadium.

And the Crewe gaffer is pleased to see more young coaches being given the chance to take charge.

He said: "I don’t know Neil personally, but we often came up against each other in academy football and we were both midfielders, right the way through to U17 and U19 as it was back then.

"He has a great reputation and they play a very unique brand of football, very different to anything else we will experience this year.

"They have a fluid and flexible system which changes depending on whether they are in or out of possession. We’ll get our heads around that so our boys are prepared. 

"It does seem that younger coaches are getting the chance to manage more often now, which is good to see because it bodes well for new ideas on how to play, and how to manage players."

Wood retired in 2010 after playing for the likes of Burnley, Coventry, and Blackpool. He began coaching at Aston Villa before returning to his boyhood club, where he rose through the academy ranks to become United's U23 Manager in 2019.

After three years in the role, he was appointed as Salford City manager earlier this summer.

Crewe will be aiming to make it three wins on the spin when they visit Salford on Saturday (3pm), while unbeaten Salford will be hoping to make it back-to-back home victories.


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