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Bell: Young guns will not be thrown in too soon

15 December 2022

Homegrown players will not be thrown into first-team football at Crewe Alexandra until they have shown they are ready.

That’s according to boss Lee Bell, who has warned academy graduates that they must earn their opportunities rather than expect a right of passage.

The Railwaymen pride themselves on developing and promoting their own players, and the first team squad is packed with youngsters who are making their way in the game.

But Bell said he will not promote anyone to the main stage until he is convinced they can contribute to winning games.

He explained: “I’m conscious of not throwing players in too early, and subjecting them to too much potential suffering.

“It’s important to have a structure and a team around them which enables them to flourish. In time gone by, I think some have gone in too early and that can have a negative effect.

“Winning football matches is important and I want our young players to appreciate winning more, that’s my message right down to the youth team and beyond: get outside your own personal bubble and stop just focusing on your own individual performances – if you want to win games your individual performance has to be good anyway.”

He added: “We know who is coming through and who will be in and around it. We have plans for how that is going to look, and where they will fit in towards the back end of this season and next year. But they have to show they are ready first and foremost.”

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