Talented youngster Michael (Zac) Williams has put pen to paper on his first professional contract having broke into the first team during the second year of his apprenticeship and making 20 senior appearances in all competitions.
The left-footed, commanding defender initially joined the Alex during his primary school years and has progressed smoothly through the ranks to represent the first team and also establish himself on the international stage with Wales.
Crewe Alex boss Alex Morris expressed his delight at retaining the 18-year-old and believes it will be a huge boost for the club and its academy system: “It is great news for everybody concerned. First and foremost we have a player signed up for the next two years who is going to be very important for us. Zac is an exceptional player, he is a great talent. He is versatile enough to play in multiple positions, he has a fantastic attitude and he and his dad have been terrific throughout the negotiations.
“Also, in terms of the bigger picture, it means that our model of producing players through the system, who have been with us for a long time, is still strong. While we want to see them play in our first team for as long as we possibly can, players of Zac’s ilk and talent ultimately are going to go on and play at a very high level.
“It gives the club a reward in the sense that, yes we get to see them out on the pitch, but long term as well we are going to sell him. I think that is inevitable. And the club deserve to have the opportunity to sell our best players because an awful lot of work has gone into them in the years that preceded that. So, it is good news all round for so many different factors.”
Commenting on the positive impact the news will have on the club’s Academy system, Morris added: “That sustainability and the model of the club is vital in terms of being able to get fees for these players. Zac and his dad have been terrific throughout the negotiations and they realise that.
“They are very much ingrained in the Crewe culture themselves because Zac has been here for a long time, other than the short spell he had at Everton.
“So, we were never really worried that it wasn’t going to reach a conclusion that we were all happy with but these things take time. It’s not just a case of length of contract and value of contract, there are all sorts of other things that go into it.
“We are all thankful now that it has been sorted and we can look forward to the football.”