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Harry Worley: Grateful for Chelsea education

It's been a slow start to the season - with a change of manager - but the promotion ambitions of Crewe Alexandra remain, insists defender Harry Worley. Currently nursing an ankle injury suffered in training last week, Worley knows he was brought to Gresty Road to help Crewe out of League Two this season.

On-loan from Leicester City, Worley has been outstanding in defence for Crewe and hints he would consider a permanent move if they can earn promotion to League One next term.

"With me being here, hopefully I can play my part in getting them promotion as I'm fully committed to the club," Worley told tribalfootball.com last week.

The former Chelsea trainee admits he wasn't shocked by the dismissal of manager Gudjon Thordarson, despite Crewe's mid-table status.

"I wouldn't say I was shocked, as in this day and age managers get little time to turn things around, however it was disappointing to see him lose his job as he handed me the opportunity in the first place to join Crewe and I'm very grateful to him for that," said Worley, who is now working under caretaker manager Dario Gradi, a genuine legend in the coaching game.

"Dario hasn't really been involved with the first team since I've been here as he's been overseeing the progress of the academy. However now he was taken charge again, I will get to know more about him and his management style.

"Everyone knows his track record at Crewe, and hopefully he can help me become a better player, like he has done for so many players previously."

Unfortunately for Worley, he faces over a month out after a training ground mishap - just when he was reaching his best form.

"I feel the more games I play the better I'll get. So far I've been happy with my form, scoring a goal (against Rotherham) has also given me more confidence to go and get more goals, however recently we've lost a few games on the spin, so we need to put that right as a team and get back to the habit of winning."

Worley arrived at Gresty Road from Leicester City and admits he hasn't heard from Foxes management about their plans for him.

The defender is desperate to get his senior career up-and-running and sees a full season of football at Crewe as an ideal launching pad in the next stage of a career that had him signing for Chelsea as a 16 year-old.

"At the moment I am just focusing on doing well for Crewe," reflected Worley, "I think every young player has to go through a process and whatever way you look at it mine at the moment is to further my career by being at Crewe.

"We're a probably not close enough to the transfer window to think about that at the moment.

"Everyone concerned I'm sure will approach it as and when it comes up."

Worley caused a stir last month when he jumped to the defence of Chelsea football chief Frank Arnesen. At the height of the Gael Kakuta drama, Worley insisted he was forever grateful to Chelsea for signing him from Stockport County as a junior.

The 20 year-old defender actually made the bench for Chelsea's Community Shield defeat to Manchester United in 2007 and says the education he received at Stamford Bridge was crucial to his development.

"I think at first it was a big move for me, it did take time to settle in, however once I did feel at home after a few months I loved near enough every minute of being there," recalls Worley.

"The staff and the players there were really easy to get along with, and it was only natural for me to gel with them.

"I believe that I definitely improved as a player while playing for Chelsea. With the facilities, the coaching and the players around you, it is only natural to progress as a player, and as I said I believe my all round game improved alot."

At Leicester, Worley found himself playing with former Liverpool juniors Jack Hobbs and Astrit Ajdarevic, who like Harry were signed from rival clubs as teenagers.

"I think we've all got similar opinions," continued Worley, "in the fact that it is great signing for a big club when you're younger, and it is a great platform for your career, however there comes a time when you feel you need to move on and further your career because of the difficulties you face breaking into the first team."

But while he feels his experience at Chelsea was positive, Worley is reluctant to offer advice to the next generation of top kids attracting Premiership interest.

"I think everyone's situation will be a different one," said Worley. "For me, at the time Stockport had just been relegated into League Two, and I felt as though moving to a bigger club would be the best option for me, which I still feel it was.

"However for some players they probably feel that staying at a smaller club would be an easier route to first team football, either way you should make your decision and stick by it!"

And soon such a decision will be looming for Worley - with his contract at Leicester due to expire at the end of this season.

An impressive run with Crewe will put Worley in the shop window, but Crewe is growing on the defender and putting down roots at Gresty Road is not being ruled out.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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