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10 Crewe Alexandra players who came through the academy

Sunday 3rd December 2017

League Two club Crewe Alexandra is renowned for having a good academy. Even today youngsters are given a chance in the first-team. Over the past 30 years, Crewe have produced some top talents. They have also signed players at a young age such as Neil Lennon and Robbie Savage, but they don't feature on this list as they were not technically a product of the academy.

Here are ten players who came up through the youth ranks of the North-West club.

Dean Ashton

The striker came up through the Crewe academy and made his debut in 2000. He scored 74 goals from his 177 games for Crewe before being signed by Norwich City. He was relegated with Norwich in his first season in the Premier League but his goal scoring ability attracted the attention of West Ham, who signed him in 2006. His spell with the Hammers was unfortunately plagued by injuries and he was forced to retire from the game in 2010. He managed one England cap in a career in which he scored 111 goals in 279 games.

Rob Jones

The now 46-year-old made his debut for Crewe when he was just 17 years-old and was spotted by the then Liverpool manager Graham Souness, who signed him when he was 19. The defender went on to play in over 150 games for Liverpool and received eight England caps. He moved on to West Ham in 1999 but retired soon after due to injury.

Danny Murphy

Now a well-known pundit on Match of the Day, Murphy came up through the Crewe academy and made his debut aged 16. He played over 100 games for them as a youngster before he was signed to Liverpool in 1997. After five seasons with the Reds, Murphy went moved to Charlton Athletic before spells with Spurs, Fulham and Blackburn Rovers. He gained nine England caps.

Seth Johnson

Seth made his debut for Crewe in 1996 and was spotted by Premier League side Derby in 1999. He agreed to join them but delayed his move by two months as he wanted to stay and help Crewe survive in their relegation battle. He played 71 games for Derby before being signed by Leeds United for £7 million. However, injuries meant the rest of his career was halted and despite returning to Derby in 2005, he had to retire aged 28 in 2007.

Rob Hulse

The well-travelled Football League striker started at Crewe in 1998 and has had spells at West Brom, Leeds, Sheffield United, Derby, QPR and Millwall. He has been signed by Neil Warnock on numerous occasions before retiring in 2013. Since retiring he moved into physiotherapy, obtaining a degree in the subject at the University of Salford in 2017.

David Vaughan

The Wales international, now currently at Nottingham Forest, was tipped for a big future. He spent seven years with Crewe before randomly being signed for Real Sociedad. He moved back to England with Blackpool before his stints with Sunderland and Forest.

Nicky Maynard

He scored 35 goals in 67 games for Crewe as a youngster and was snapped up by Bristol City in 2008. Here he carried on his goal scoring form for the Robins. West Ham moved in for him in 2011 but his chances were limited so he moved to Cardiff City. Injuries have affected his career but a spell at MK Dons last season has looked to have got his career back on track and he now finds himself playing for Aberdeen.

Ben Amos

Despite never making a senior appearance for Crewe, Amos came up through their academy before being signed by Manchester United in 2000. He now plays for Bolton Wanderers but is currently on loan at Charlton.

The next two players are the most recent products of the Academy on this list

Ashley Westwood

Westwood was signed by Aston Villa in the top flight in 2012 and made over 100 appearances for Villa. Despite being relegated to the Championship in 2015, he is now back playing in the Premier League with Burnley.

Nick Powell

He was seen as one of the brightest young talents in the country when he was signed by Manchester United in 2012 for around £6 million. He scored on his United debut but that was the best it got for him. His chances were few and far between and he had loan spells at Wigan, Leicester and Hull City before he was allowed to join Wigan on a permanent basis last summer.  

Harry Mail

A big Hull City fan from Manchester. Keep an eye on leagues across Europe, the MLS and non-league in England.

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