Connor O’Riordan is another Crewe Alexandra scholar who has signed a professional contract and one who the coaches believe has a bright future in the game.
The 6ft 4ins central defender has a towering presence and he is already making an impression at senior level.
The 18-year-old, who has enjoyed brief and successful loan spells at Kidsgrove and Nantwich, made his first team debut last season in a Papa John’s Trophy victory over Doncaster Rovers.
Assistant Manager Lee Bell is urging the youngster to set his sights high.
He said: “Connor has been here for a long, long time. He came at pre-academy. He’s a solid person and like a sponge in the way he takes in information.
“He’s recently been out on loan which was good for him. I went and watched him and he was really comfortable.
“Connor should be aiming high, he is in a really good place at the minute and looked comfortable against Doncaster.
“He’s a good footballer, has a good range of passing and is starting to bring the ball out from the back. He can do the old-school stuff and we want him to score more goals from set pieces.”
Connor, from Crewe, was a key part of the U18s’ run to the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup, scoring in the second-round win over Harrogate Town.
Lee added: “He works hard. The best thing about Connor is he knows what he is good at, but he also knows what he is not good at and he is prepared to work ever so hard at those things.
“Some people prefer to hide from the things they aren’t good at but he is determined to get better in those aspects.
“He’s getting better with his vocals which he is going to have to be. He doesn’t have to be a ‘Tony Adams’ screamer and shouter but he needs to organise and talk and he’s starting to do that.”