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Page last updated at 12:47 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 13:47 UK

Crewe Alexandra hand scholarships to five players

Crewe Alexandra

Crewe Alexandra have handed professional contracts to five players from their academy.

Max Clayton, Nick Powell, George Ray, Ben Garratt and Brendan Daniels have all signed two-year scholarships.

"Physically they'll be fine and their skill level will be higher than the normal players in this league," Crewe boss Dario Gradi told BBC Radio Stoke.

Clayton and Powell have already gained international honours, winning caps for England at Under-16 level.

Gradi continued: "The pleasing thing is that they've chosen to sign for us.

"I'm quite sure they would have been approached by bigger clubs. Hopefully we'll be able to give them their debut early, although they'll have to earn that."

Crewe's academy has produced millions of pounds of talent since Gradi's arrival in 1983, with the likes of David Platt, Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson, Dean Ashton and Nicky Maynard all coming through the ranks at the Alexandra Stadium.

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see also
Alty's Little to take Man Utd job
08 Apr 10 |  Altrincham
Mawhinney praise for Crewe policy
25 Feb 10 |  Crewe
Crewe future 'will not be risked'
19 Feb 10 |  Crewe

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