Three players who have spent a combined 30 years as part of Crewe Alexandra have signed their first professional contracts.
Max Woodcock, Owen Lunt, and Zak Kempster-Down, joined aged six, 10, and eight respectively. They have worked hard with academy coaches to move through the ranks.
Now, after spending the last two seasons as scholars, they have agreed 12-month pro deals at Mornflake Stadium.
Aidan Callan, Academy Manager, said: “On behalf of everyone at our club, I’d like to congratulate the lads on signing their first professional contracts.
“They have put in a huge amount of hard work and dedication, and made many sacrifices over many years, to get to this stage. It is an achievement to celebrate.
“Like all the boys in our academy, they are much more than just numbers to us. They are valued and cared for, and nothing is more pleasing than to see boys move through our Player Pathway to the professional ranks.
“Great credit must also go to our outstanding coaches who invest all their time and energy into giving academy players the best possible chance of succeeding.
“Now the three lads must grasp the challenge of working hard in pre-season, and aim to catch the eyes of the Manager and his staff.
“Everybody connected with the academy wishes Max, Owen, and Zak all the very best for the future.”
Talented forward Max, 17, earned his first caps for Scotland Under-18s last season.
Gritty midfielder Owen, 18, is the nephew of club legend Kenny Lunt. He captained Crewe U18s in the FA Youth Cup last term.
Defender Zak, 18, can play at full-back or centre-half. Like Lunt, he was named on the bench for the first team last season.