Colclough Aims For Centre Stage As Clayton & Critchley Curtain Call Draws Near

By: Steve Sutcliffe |
23/08/13 |

PA Photos

Ryan Colclough is aiming to become Crewe’s main hit-man after hitting a double in last Saturday’s 2-1 over Tranmere.

The 18-year-old forward is in the process of establishing himself in Alex’s first XI, starting the first four games of the season after mainly being used as a substitute last term.

And his prospects will not have been done any harm by his goal-scoring brace.

“I’ve been after a goal for a while and now I am off the mark,” said Colclough. “It has given me a great confidence boost and hopefully I can get more.”

“I want to be up there with the top scorers in the team, I want to help as much as I can.”

“I’m buzzing about it. After the game in the dressing room the atmosphere was great and the boys were all congratulating me. It was a good vibe.”

While Colclough, who penned a three-year deal with the club last term looks certain to continue his development at Gresty Road the club’s Director of football Dario Gradi admits that fellow forward Max Clayton is likely to be on the move at the end of the 2013-14 season.

The 19-year-old who is another to come through the club’s famed Academy has refused to extend his contract, which will expire next summer and was booed by a section of the home support as he came on as substitute last Saturday.

The offer remains on the table, but Gradi said: “I tried to persuade him and his dad (ex-Alex striker Paul) he’d be better to sign another contract here.”

“In previous years the player would have listened and perhaps put a bit of trust in me. But the power of the agents means you don’t get to talk to the kids anymore, they don’t have an opinion, and they rely on other people doing it for them.”

“They’d obviously made up their mind that their next contract would be somewhere else. He’s playing his contract out, or he’ll go this year with his mind on other things.”

Crewe would be due to receive compensation for England youth international Clayton if he does move on to another English club next year.

The youngster has scored 15 goals in 78 outings for Crewe.

Meanwhile, one person definitely leaving the club is Academy director Neil Critchley who is set to is join Liverpool as their Under-18s Manager.

The 34-year-old has been at Gresty Road as a player, scout and coach for more than two decades.

Critchley, who made one senior appearance for Crewe moved on to play for Hyde Utd before returning to Gresty Road to work in the academy under the direction of the likes of Dario Gradi and Steve Holland.

Under his watch, Nick Powell, Ashley Westwood and Luke Murphy have been rolled off the Crewe conveyor belt and his loss is sure to be felt by Manager Steve Davis.

“He has done a brilliant job with the young players,” Davis told the Crewe Chronicle.

“It is a real positive for us that one of our bright young coaches is wanted by Brendan Rodgers. It shows where our academy is.”

“If a club is selling young players for millions of pounds there is a reason for that. There are obviously quality people involved in that process and Neil is one of them.”