Crewe Alexandra Ice Cream Van Stand

Crewe Alexandra will visit Nantwich Town next weekend as they prepare for life back in League Two.

The Alex were relegated at the end of last season, with manager David Artell being sacked shortly after relegation was confirmed.

They finished bottom of League One and face a challenging return to the level they left in the summer of 2020.

However, preparations are underway for an immediate return, and they’ll come to Nantwich on July 2 with four new faces, including one former Chelsea youngster and a former Nantwich player.

Crewe and Nantwich play friendlies most pre-seasons. The Alex won in 2018 (1-0) and 2021 (4-1), while The Dabbers won in 2019 (2-1) and 2020 (4-2).

This season, Alex Morris will hope his Crewe side makes it three wins from five, as they will need strong preparation for a return to League Two.

They’re likely to be among the favourites in the Coral football betting odds, but that will bring a high expectation in a hugely challenging division.

Already, Bradford City and Doncaster Rovers have made strong signings, while promoted teams like Grimsby Town and Stockport County will have momentum behind them.

To help cope with the challenges, Morris has added four new faces to the Alex ranks, one of which had an illustrious start to his career.

Charlie Colkett was once described as the ‘best-kept secret’ in Chelsea’s academy, but he’s struggled to find his feet throughout his career.

The 25-year-old had ended up playing for Ostersunds in Sweden but returned to League One with Cheltenham in January.

He didn’t get the game time required to stand out, but Morris made him a priority signing, according to Cheshire Live, and he should appear in the Nantwich friendly.

Another new face, Conor Thomas, once came close to a move to Liverpool, but an injury scuppered his switch despite him spending time on loan at Anfield.

He’s spent the past four seasons with Cheltenham Town, helping them to promotion with Crewe in 2020.

Last season he made 24 League One appearances for them, and he too should grace The Weaver Stadium in July.

Striker Courtney Baker-Richardson joins from Newport County, where he registered eight goals last season.

In 2018/19, he made 17 Championship appearances for Swansea City, scoring three times, but he’s struggled to find form since.

He’s still only 26 and could yet prove to be a great find for Crewe.

The fourth player joining the Railwaymen this summer is a familiar face Nantwich fans will welcome.

Defender Kevin Mellor started with the Dabbers in 2007, joining Crewe in 2008.

He was loaned back for a short spell and later went on to appear for Plymouth Argyle, Blackpool, Bradford City, Morecambe and Carlisle before coming home in May.

He’ll doubtless get a warm reception from both sets of fans on July 2.

It promises to be a great pre-season encounter at Nantwich, and Crewe will be hoping to use the game as a springboard for a strong pre-season and a promotion campaign.

(Pic: Paul W, Ice Cream Van Stand, CC BY-SA 4.0)

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