Tom Crawford insists there is no reason why Chester’s first-team can’t be built around the club’s teenage starlets next season.

The 18-year-old has burst onto the scene in recent months with a string of impressive displays in midfield along with teenage centre-back James Jones who has made 17 appearances this campaign, with the likes of Nathan Brown, Rhain Hellawell, Cain Noble and Matty Thomson also earning senior debuts.

Crawford is one of three players, along with 19-year-old Jones and club captain Ryan Astles, to have been offered new contracts, but the trio are expected to attract offers from elsewhere including Jones, who has been subject of interest from a Premier League club.

In the case of Crawford and Jones, the Blues have acted prior to UEFA’s 60-day ruling meaning they will be due compensation if either player opts to leave.

Lucas Dawson is also understood to have received a verbal offer of a new contract earlier in the season, but that does not necessarily mean a written contract offer will come to fruition for the 24-year-old midfielder, who has attracted the attentions of Newport County.

“You’ve seen in the second-half of this season and in recent weeks that we’re good enough to be in the team," he said. "Maybe the team needs to be built around these boys next season. Why not build a team around the younger players?

“I would stay at Chester, of course, but nothing has come up yet but we’ll just have to see what happens."

Crawford, who has recently earned an England C call-up, was delighted with the way the Blues responded to the recent disappointment of relegation from the National League with two wins from their final four fixtures, including a 2-1 win at Barrow on the last day.

“When a team gets relegated it’s easy to just throw the towel in and just say ‘that’s it, we’re done’ but that wasn’t going to be the case with these boys,” he continued.

“The boys have been quality since Calum took over and we’ve just given it everything and I think we deserved that win for our hard work.

“Barrow probably thought we were an ideal team for them to be playing so we just had a chat in the week and said it was our motivation to spoil the party and play our game, see what we can do.

“Staying up is good for them but I’m just happy with the three points to be honest.

“It’s been a long overdue goal, but it was a good time to get it and I’ve popped up and put it in the net. It was a good feeling and nice to get the three points for the boys.

“You can see our quality when we’re at it. The Bromley game was good but even at Boreham Wood, we lost 4-2 but, in some spells, we were on top and gave it a right good go at times and played some good football.

“The youth is what this club is built on and these boys are good enough to do it. To come in and boss it like they have been doing, they’ve been top drawer.”

Crawford explained how a loan spell at Runcorn Town earlier in the campaign readied him for a first-team bow on his return to Chester, as former boss Marcus Bignot threw the 18-year-old straight into the fold in late January, following the exits of senior midfielders Paul Turnbull (Stockport) and Kingsley James (Barrow on-loan).

“The loan spells were good, they pretty much sorted me out in men’s football,” he added.

“Coming straight into the Chester team, it didn’t feel any different to be honest. I’ve just kicked on and hoped to keep my place in the team.”