Crewe boss Dario Gradi knows a thing or two about nurturing young talent, so is taking special care with the latest teenage talent set to roll off the Gresty Road production line.
The veteran manager has seen the likes of David Platt, Danny Murphy and Dean Ashton, amongst many others, progress through the ranks during his truncated spell in the hot seat, and is ready to give his current crop an opportunity to shine next term.
Gradi, however, will ensure he does not expose England Under 17 duo Nick Powell and Max Clayton, and young centre back George Ray before they are ready. "The youngsters have come in and done well," Gradi told the club's official website.
"They have settled in well and have that youthful enthusiasm for the work. What I won't do is play them all season. I don't want Nick Powell to be playing 46 league games but I could jumble things up with the formation because he offers us something that the others can't in that position.
"I don't want to be picking George Ray at centre back because I don't think he is ready. He will think he is, and will want to play because he will have that confidence in his ability and so he should because he has got a lot of ability.
"There is an opportunity for them here and it will be interesting to see how they do this season,” added Gradi who hopes his summer business can be concluded with the signing of a new defender, and has invited Stockport County centre half Jordan Rose for a trial.
"Our only setback this summer has not been finding the extra defenders we want," added Gradi. "Jordan is the only defender we've got on our radar at the moment.
"But the search goes one as we're definitely short of cover at the back. We could still do with a full-back and a centre half."
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