Date: 8th July 2009 at 1:25pm
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Stoke City have signed two graduates of Crewe Alex’s Academy in a deal likely to upset our south Cheshire neighbours.

Matthew Lund and Ben Marshall have both agreed two year professional contracts at the Brit after turning down contract offers from Crewe. The Potters’ new Academy director and former Crewe boss, Steve Holland (pictured) seems to have been instrumental in their decision to sign for the Potters but the club have been at pains to point out that they didn’t poach the two 18 year olds as they contacted Holland after rejecting the deals on the table.

Holland compares Marshall to a young Liam Lawrence and can either play upfront or on the right wing whilst Lund is a central midfielder.

The two clubs still have to agree compensation for Crewe as they are too young to qualify for a free transfer under the Bosman rules. If a mutually acceptable fee can’t be agreed it will then be up to an independent panel to fix a fee.