Crewe Alexandra Manager Dario Gradi has hailed Ashley Westwood after the youngster put pen to paper on a one-year extension to his current deal which will see him remain at Gresty Road until the summer of 2012.
Westwood who broke into the first-team under previous boss Gudjon Thordarson in January last year has formed a good midfield partnership with the experienced Simon Walton in recent weeks after being restored to the side by Gradi.
Speaking to the Club’s official website, Gradi said:
“I have been delighted with Westy. I think he has played in every game since I took over again and he has come in and done very well. I have been pleased with him and he deserves his new contract.”
“We are always fair with our young players. He has broken into the team and when I looked at how much he was earning, I thought he deserved more so we offered better terms with a one-year extension.”
“He signed with no fuss and that is how it should be. There wasn’t an agent in sight. He came in with his Dad and signed there and then. We don’t try and be clever and put things in to get ourselves a better deal. He knew the terms and was delighted to sign.”
“He is excited and wants to do well for himself and for the Club. He is a local lad and he deserves to be rewarded for the progress he has made.”
“I’m sure he is ambitious as anyone else and who knows how high he could go in the future. You never know and he has to keep working hard. Signing a contract here is a bonus anyway. It doesn’t stop anyone moving on if a good opportunity comes along. That is the way it has always been here.”
With Gradi keen to mount a promotion bid, he also warned potential suitors of his young stars that he is in no rush to part company with any of them. He added:
“I certainly don’t want to sell Westy or anyone else. I don’t need to sell anyone. We don’t want to be selling any of our better players, because we want to push on and try and secure a play-off place.”