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Squad 2011/2012 In Profile: Defenders

Squad 2011/2012 In Profile: Defenders



Matt Tootle

Age: 20
Position: Right back
Former Clubs: Academy Graduate
Contracted To: 1st July 2013
Crewe Apps: 70
Crewe Goals: 1
Height: 5ft 9in
Weight: 11st 0lbs

Thrown into the first team as a 19 year old by Dario not long after Gudjon Thordarson's departure in November 2009, it's a wonder how Toots was never on the first team radar until then. With assured performances at both right back, his natural position, and left back, he's become an almost ever present feature in the team with 70 appearances in 18 months.

He went from strength to strength in the 2010/2011 season and the inevitable rumours of interest from higher leagues started. It's without a doubt that those rumours will persist and with a good 2011-2012 season under his belt those rumours could well come to fruition.

It's needless to say then that there's little to pick at in Tootle's game, there are few wingers in the league who get the better of him whilst his darting runs up the wing should probably have provided him with more than the solitary goal he has to date in his career.

He's rightly, when fit, going to be one of the first names on the team sheet for 2011-2012.

David Artell

Age: 30
Position: Centre back
Former Clubs: Morecambe, Chester, Mansfield, Shrewsbury, Rotherham
Contracted To: 1st July 2012
Crewe Apps: 44
Crewe Goals: 5
Height: 6ft 2in
Weight: 12st 9lb

Already well travelled with over 350 appearances across six clubs in his career, Big David Artell arrived in the summer of 2010 with hope from Dario he would add both height and experience at both ends of the pitch when it came to set pieces.

It perhaps didn't work out quite as well as anticipated. The aerial threat Artell offered seemed to be nullified early into last season with four of his five goals in the season coming inside the first two months. The Alex also continued to leak goals at a rapid rate despite Artell being a mainstay in the back four.

Like many Alex centre halves, Artell's a defender who can have his 'moments' despite most of the time looking fairly comfortable. He perhaps wasn't helped by the revolving door when it came to his centre half partner. A full 2011-2012 season with a regular centre half partnership could well bring out the best in Artell. Barring injury, hes almost certainly going to be ever present in the coming season but with the club having gone nine years since conceded less than 65 in one season, there's definitely pressure on Dario & defenders alike to plug that constant leak.

Adam Dugdale

Age: 24
Position: Centre back
Former Clubs: (Academy Graduate) Barrow, Doylsden, Accrington (loan), Southport (loan)
Contracted To: 1st July 2012
Crewe Apps: 22
Crewe Goals: 0
Height: 6ft 3in
Weight: 12st 7lb

When Duggy came back to train at Reaseheath following a spell in the non-league, few fans would truly have expected him to not only sign up for the season but also go on to make 21 appearances at the heart of the defence.

Dugdale is certainly a player that splits fans opinions, rather unfairly I would say. His tag of 'former reject' probably does him no favours in some eyes but his performances last season were far from the standard some would lead you to believe. Like all of our defenders last season he had his poor games and at times showed his weaknesses but on the whole he performed no better or worst than most of the team.

Deservedly given another year on his contract, it's unlikely Dugdale will be the first called upon in defence but he certainly provides ok and, more importantly these days, cheap cover.

Carl Martin

Age: 24
Position: Right back / Various
Former Clubs: Wealdstone
Contracted To: 1st July 2012
Crewe Apps: 6
Crewe Goals: 1
Height: 6ft 1in
Weight: 13st 10lb

Originally a rejected trialist from the days of Gudjon Thordarson, Martin signed for the Alex the week the Iceman left the club after Dario recalled the former Wealdstone defender to sign a 2 year contract.

Unfortunately the versatile defender's Alex career has been thoroughly blighted with injury from day one. After six promising appearances in his first season, including one start and one goal, Martin failed to make a single appearance for the first team last season after various injuries forced a long spell on the sidelines. Having worked hard to regain some consistent fitness recently, Martin is hoping not only to get games under his belt in 2011-2012 but push for a starting spot.

He seems to have the backing of fans however. His brief appearances early on showed a lot of promise. He's certainly comfortable on the ball - perhaps a bit too comfortable for Dario's liking - and he wasn't phased by spells at full back nor centre back. If we can keep him fit then there's certainly a good player there who could push for a regular place in the side quite easily.

Harry Davis

Age: 19
Position: Centre Back / Right Back
Former Clubs: Academy Graduate
Contracted To: 1st July 2012
Crewe Apps: 1
Crewe Goals: 0
Height: 6ft 1in
Weight: 13st 1lb

The son of assistant manager Steve Davis, 2011-2012 looks to be a big year for Harry. After spells out on loan to Nantwich, he finally made his first team bow last season with a brief cameo in the comfortable 5-1 win over Bradford City on the last day of the season.

Still only young, there's plenty of growing for Davis to do as a player but with Dario eyeing him as a potential right back, Davis could be set for more involvement going into 2011-2012.

Andy White

Age: 18
Position: Left Back
Former Clubs: Academy Graduate
Contracted To: 1st July 2012
Crewe Apps: 0
Crewe Goals: 0
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A

Fresh from the academy on a one year deal, White is one player Dario is hoping can push for first team appearances this season. With the left back spot (at time of writing) still vacant, there could still be a chance for White to be the surprise package.

Oliver Turton

Age: 18
Position: Right Back
Former Clubs: Academy Graduate
Contracted To: 1st July 2012
Crewe Apps: 1
Crewe Goals: 0
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A

Another academy player given a one year contract in the summer of 2011, Turton has already made one brief appearance for the club when he came on as a substitute against Stockport for the last home game of last season. With the right back spot already comfortable covered by Tootle, Turton will have to be patient in his push for first team chances but from his one appearance to date it doesn't look like he will be too phased when called upon.

George Ray

Age: 17
Position: Centre back
Former Clubs: Academy Graduate
Contracted To: 1st July 2014
Crewe Apps: 0
Crewe Goals: 0
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A

From the "golden age group" of the academy, Ray was signed up on a long term deal along with Nick Powell, Max Clayton, Ben Garratt and Brendan Daniels when they were just 16 years old. Young defenders don't find it quite as easy to push their way into the team, especially at this level, but there's no doubting how highly rated Ray is within the club and I'm sure we can expect a few appearances at some stage in the 2011-2012 season.

Danny Ting

Age: 18
Position: Left back
Former Clubs: Academy Graduate
Contracted To: 1st July 2012
Crewe Apps: 0
Crewe Goals: 0
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A

Ting joined Turton and White in signing professional terms this summer but the left back is probably not quite in the first team picture yet with Dario suggesting a loan move for at least half a season may well benefit the young defender.



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Dink
Date:Tuesday July 12 2011
Time: 2:45PM

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