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Bell:"O'Riordan Deserves His New Deal After The Progress He Has Made"

10 June 2022

Lee Bell says that the club’s young defender, Connor O’Riordan, fully deserves his new and improved professional contract as a reward for the progress he made last season. O’Riordan did not hesitate in signing an initial three-year deal.

The 18-year-old centre-half came into the first team set-up at a difficult time when injuries began to dismantle David Artell’s backline. Crewe were eventually relegated back to League One and Artell was replaced by Alex Morris with four games remaining of the season. Bell was promoted to assistant manager.

O’Riordan made 13 appearances in all competitions and was awarded with the Harold Finch Scholar of the Year trophy at the end of his breakthrough season.

The local lad will now be aiming to build on that early success and surpass his appearance record from last season.

Bell told “Connor has signed a new professional contact and that is a reward for the progress he made last season. We are all pleased for Connor. There is more improvement to come from him and he knows that, but he works hard on that and credit to him.

“He came into the team in difficult circumstances last season and showed that he could handle it. We believed he would go in and handle it and as a second year scholar coming into that situation and what he had to face at that level will only have benefitted him. It is the same with Zac (Williams)

“As defenders they were asked to do a lot of defending last season against very good players and they showed they could cope with the level. It showed a lot about their characters.

“Connor showed that he is also good on the ball and was calm. It also shows that a local lad, who lives close to the stadium, can come all the way through and make it as a professional footballer. It is nice to see that the pathway is there for local lads and what an example that is for other youngsters in our Academy. “

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