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Wrexham AFC director Spencer Harris welcomes change to play-offs

Published date: 13 June 2017 |
Published by: Richard Williams
Read more articles by Richard Williams


 

SPENCER HARRIS has welcomed the move to include six teams in the play-offs next season but says the National League will continue pushing for another automatic promotion place.

The proposal was ratified at the league’s AGM and the new system will see two-legged ties scrapped, with teams finishing from second to seventh vying for promotion in the end of season play-offs.

The title winners will be promoted automatically, while those teams finishing second and third will progress straight to one-off home semi-final matches.

Teams finishing fourth down to seventh will then play a one-off qualifying tie for the right to an away semi-final, before the final at Wembley.

“We voted for it. A small number were opposed to the move but it was overwhelming the amount of clubs in support,” said Reds director Harris. 

“I think it was a good outcome for the league. It rewards the teams who finish higher in the division and keeps the excitement alive.

“It gives more of a chance to a greater number of teams and the higher you finish, you have a better chance to achieve promotion.”

But Harris is hoping to see a second team win promotion automatically in the coming seasons, although it would need to be approved by the Football League.

“It was again discussed and the National League are committed to trying to achieve three up, three down,” said Harris. 

“It is only right and proper in my view. This division is a bottle-neck in a way no other division is.

“A large number of teams are full-time and there are a large number of big, traditional teams, of which we are one, that would not look out of place several levels above where we are now.

“We can make representations. We have to propose and sanction that move but it is a matter and a decision for the Football League to sanction the change.

“It is very difficult to win a division; it is not to say we can’t but it is difficult for every team to get out of this division and the National League are firmly behind wanting another automatic promotion spot.”

Wrexham are preparing for a 10th season in non-league and manager Dean Keates has already completed eight new signings after revamping his squad.

Goalkeeper Christian Dibble, defenders James Hurst, Shaun Pearson, James Jennings and Manny Smith, midfielder Sam Wedgbury, winger Jack Mackreth and striker Chris Holroyd have all arrived at The Racecourse so far during the close season.

Keates, waiting for decisions from four targets who have received offers, wants to go into the 2018-19 campaign with around 18 or 19 players and is looking to add to his attacking options in the coming weeks, and Harris is pleased with how the squad is shaping up.

“We are delighted with the work taken place so far in the transfer window,” said Harris.

“You have to remember it is only Dean’s second transfer window and the first was difficult to count.

“He has identified targets and landed many of them, and that process continues.

“There are still a number of places to complete the squad and we fully expect to bring in signings similar to the quality that we have seen so far.”

Harris insists Wrexham are not just restricted to signing free agents and can target players who are under contract at other clubs.

Mackreth, brought in from Bury, and Smith, allowed to leave Gateshead to move closer to his family despite having 12 months remaining on his contract, have both been lured to The Racecourse.

“We have taken players who are in contract at their clubs,” added Harris.

“Jack and Manny come into that category. Manny had his contract cancelled and we had to come to an agreement to take over Jack’s registration.

“We won’t just be looking at players who are out of contract as we have demonstrated so far.

“We are looking wider than out of contract players and that includes players that are in contract at other clubs.”

For more news from across the region visit leaderlive.co.uk

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