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Page last updated at 09:12 GMT, Monday, 23 May 2011 10:12 UK

Crewe manager Dario Gradi wary of youngsters' burn-out

Darilo Gradi
Gradi has signed 12 former trainees on professional contracts this season

Crewe Alexandra boss Dario Gradi hopes to avoid the risk of burn-out by being prepared to start next season without teenagers Max Clayton and Nick Powell.

Clayton, 16, and Powell, 17 are in the England Under-17s squad for the World Championships in Mexico in June.

And Gradi has outlined a rest programme that may sideline them in early August.

"I wouldn't imagine theyll be available for much of pre-season and perhaps the beginning of the new season. I have to think about their physical well-being."

Crewe also have young goalkeeper Ben Garratt, 17, in England's squad for Mexico.

But, as far as his two outfield players are concerned, the Alex manager has already held a meeting with Clayton and Powell to go over their summer fitness programme.

"They are going to Mexico this summer," said Gradi. "And, if they reach the later stages, then they will certainly need a rest when they come back.

"If they are knocked out, then they will be back with us earlier, but they will still need a break."

The three teenagers were part of the England squad for the UEFA Under-17 Championship in Serbia in the first half of May.

Powell started all three group games, as England qualified for the semi-finals, in which they lost 1-0 to eventual winners Holland, while Clayton and Garrett were on the bench thoughout.

That last four finish was enough to earn John Peacock's side qualification for the Under-17 World Cup, which starts on 18 June and runs until 10 July.

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