Motherwell have become well-known for their ability to produce talented youngsters – and Chris Lucketti says they should all aspire to be like Allan Campbell.
The Well have produced and sold on many academy products in recent seasons, David Turnbull, James Scott, Chris Cadden, Stuart McKinstry and Reece McAlear all making big moves away from Fir Park after shining in the academy or first team environment.
Lucketti knows part of he and manager Graham Alexander’s remit is to continue this trend and he’s urging those youngsters to follow fellow academy product Campbell, who has been a standout for several seasons.
He explained: “We know it’s vital to every club and certainly to Motherwell, with the players that have come through. Within two or three days we could see the young lads that we’ve got already within the squad that have come from the academy and the potential they have is massive.
“It is important that we help to develop those young lads and give them the best opportunity to have good careers, like everybody wants to do. They’ve got great role models to aim at and aspire to be, and certainly that’s the bench-mark for those young lads, looking at the likes of Allan Campbell to say ‘that’s the level, that’s what I want to do’.
“We see Allan and in our short time here you can see why he’s as good a player as he is, because of the effort that he puts in, not just on the training pitch, but the time he spends before and after.
“Those are the traits that allow you to make it to the top of your profession, and he’s a great role model for any young lads to look up to.”
Lucketti and Alexander have known each other since their playing days at Preston and that desire to develop talent started then: “We played together for six years at Preston, we had similar careers in terms of where we started off in the lower reaches of the Football League and got to the Premier League at 35 and 36.
“Our paths and stories were very similar. There’s a lot in common and we played together for six years side-by-side at Preston, so you form those relationships on and off the pitch. That was from a football point of view but we then worked at Preston with the youth set-up.
“Our visions and how we want to play are very similar in terms of the alignment of what we want to do and how we see the club going, so we’ve worked together for the last six or seven years, had success, we know how each other works.
“Graham was best man at my wedding, so we have a great bond on and off the pitch and we feel that’s important.”
One of Lucketti’s former boss’ at Preston was former Well and Scotland manager Craig Brown, someone he still takes tips from: “I was signed by David Moyes at Preston so I had a good connection with him and regularly keep in touch with him.
“Craig Brown came to manage after he left and Craig is somebody that I have a load of respect for. He still texts me and had nothing but good wishes for Graham and myself and I have nothing but respect for what he did for me at Preston.
“He was superb, great to work for and he knows the game inside out. He came to Preston and he was just a great guy, you wanted to perform to your highest levels. He was nothing but supportive to me and everyone at Preston in my time there.
“I didn’t speak to him before we came but I’ve spoken to him since we have signed and he is positive. He has been a big part of Motherwell himself obviously and he is a great sounding board if we ever need to use him for advice.”
Now looking ahead to a huge game with Ross County in Dingwall, Motherwell currently sat 11th while the Staggies are above them in 1oth, Lucketti knows a win is needed: “We are looking to build on the performances.
“We have been really pleased with the performances but we need to extend that 90 minutes. We had 45 minutes against St Mirren and for 75 minutes against Rangers we were superb and even in the first half against Aberdeen we hit the post and we were creating chances.
“So the performance levels have been really good it is now a case of extending those and those will lead to the results we need. We have been focusing on performances and we do believe performances will lead to results.”
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