Crewe Alexandra: Full debut was worth the weight, says Jon Guthrie
JON Guthrie believes he is nearly twice the player he was when he first arrived at Crewe Alexandra ... after being put on a weight-gain programme.
The 19-year-old joined from Wessex League Division One side Pewsey Vale last February and made his first senior start at Bournemouth on Saturday.
He was disappointed with the 3-1 defeat which leaves the Railwaymen 13th in League One, but could not hide his delight at being named in the starting line-up.
It is a huge step up from Pewsey or under-21 football, he admits, but he hopes his new-found bulk will help him win more starts – and a new contract in the summer.
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"I think I have developed a lot in the time I've been at Crewe," he said.
"I've come on physically and technically. First things first I needed to bulk up to be a defender at this level.
"I was a skinny bloke when I arrived, so they put me on a weight programme and that seems to be helping."
Guthrie can play at left-back or in the centre and got a chance wide in the back four at Dean Court when Matt Tootle fell ill in the build-up to the game.
He is hoping to retain his place when Crewe entertain Scunthorpe on Saturday, although he knows he may have to be patient to become a regular.
Either way, it seems he is guaranteed support from back home in the West Country.
He said: "I was a bit nervous before kick-off, but hopefully I showed I can slot in when the manager needs me. I could have done better with the second goal, but overall I was pleased.
"It wasn't just my family who came to watch, I think most of my home village were there, as well as my old chairman, manager and a few old team-mates.
"I don't want just the one performance, of course, but I'm not expecting to play week in, week out. Matt and Gregor Robertson are good players, so I'll just keep working hard in training and do as much as I can in under-21 games."
Ryan Colclough scored from the spot and Ajay Leitch-Smith also netted as Crewe under-21s won 2-0 at Sheffield United in the development league yesterday.
A strong Alex side also featured Mark Ellis, Ollie Turton, Ben Garratt and Brendon Daniels.
CREWE'S League One home match with Brentford next month has been postponed due to the Bees' FA Cup commitments.
Brentford, featuring ex-Alex prolific front man Clayton Donaldson, drew 2-2 with Chelsea in the fourth round on Sunday.
However, Chelsea cannot replay next midweek due to Europa League fixtures, so it has been scheduled instead for Saturday, February 16.
It means the Alex, who have been planning for a hectic February, will be left with a free weekend. A new date has yet to be announced.