David Vaughan is relishing his new challenge as Crewe Alexandra Under-18s Manager.
The former Welsh international and Premier League star, who came through the Alex youth system and played more than 200 games for the club, has replaced Ryan Dicker, who has been promoted to the first-team set-up.
The 40-year-old, who also represented Real Sociedad, Blackpool, Sunderland and Nottingham Forest in a superb career, is being assisted in by Sam Pettitt, who has stepped up from his position as Youth Phase Coach.
Vaughan said: “I wasn’t expecting it so soon but the opportunity has come along and I’m pleased to take it.
“Having come through the system myself I feel an extra responsibility because the club helped me so much, and I want to repay that.
“The club’s philosophy is ingrained in me and I want to pass on everything I’ve learned. I’ve known Sam a number of years now and I think we will work well together.
“Our job is to get players through towards the first team each year and I’m really enjoying it so far.”
Vaughan and Pettitt, who has been part of the club’s academy coaching operation since 2016, guided the U18s to victory at Ipswich Town in their first Professional Development League fixture of the season.
Nathan Robinson, Jack Parry and Calum Agius got the goals in a 3-2 success.
Now the group is preparing for the visit of Swansea City this weekend.
Vaughan added: “It was a good win at Ipswich; maybe not a typical Crewe performance but we dug in and competed well and showed moments of quality for the goals.
“There is stuff to work on but it was pleasing to start with a win.
“The majority of our time is focused on developing players individually but towards the end of the week we will look at the game we’ve got coming up.
“We get clips of the opposition and go through that with the players so we can form a plan – and that’s what we will be doing for Swansea.”