Crewe Alexandra's Nick Powell has been named the December Young Player of the Month for the npower Football League.

The highly rated 17-year-old attacking midfielder netted twice for the Railwaymen last month to take his end of year tally to six goals.

Having risen through the ranks at Crewe, Powell began playing in Under-18 football aged just 15 and went on to make his first team debut for the Alex against Cheltenham Town in August 2010.

A regular feature in England Youth Sides, he was part of the England U16 side that won the Victory Shield in 2009/10 and was also a member of the U17 squad that travelled to the 2011 World Cup in Mexico.

In receiving the award, Nick said: "It is a great achievement to win this Award. I was on the bench a lot of last season and to have played well throughout October, November and December is superb.

"I'm hoping to add a lot more goals to my game, hopefully above 12 this season, by getting into the box much more.

"The Award will either go on the mantelpiece in the front room or with my other trophies, but hopefully it'll be where my family can see it."

Crewe Director of Football, Dario Gradi MBE added: "Nick has come on significantly over the last six weeks. He was great during the Wimbledon game, scored a fantastic goal and has continued with mature performances since then.

"Nick has always been a skillful player with good technique, but it's one thing to have a bag of tricks and it's something else to know how to get results which he does.

"I can't bracket him like Seth Johnson, Danny Murphy or David Platt. He's quite different and hard to compare with others. He likes to run with the ball, he's clever, has tricks and encourages being whacked.

"In football you either stop goals, score goals or makes goals; he does all of those."

Each season, Football League clubs invest more than £40m on identifying, training and educating the next generation of football talent. Around a third of this money (£12.6m) is provided by the Football Association and Premier League. There are 8,500 young players registered with League clubs making Football League Youth Development the largest centrally co-ordinated young player programme in world football.

Head of Youth Development at The Football League, David Wetherall said: "Nick is developing fantastically well at Crewe and is undoubtedly a rising star in the game.

"He has great experience for a player of his age and I look forward to watching his career progress in the coming seasons."

Each month, the Young Player of the Month Award is awarded by The Football League to the young player who has made the most significant contribution and impact in first team football. To be eligible the player must be either under 21 years of age or be playing in the season during which he turns 21.

During the 2010/11 season, 249 players aged 21 or under made their professional debuts in The Football League.