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Wrexham AFC: Dean Keates says trialists will be given chance in pre-season

Published date: 19 June 2017 |
Published by: Richard Williams
Read more articles by Richard Williams


Dean Keates 

DEAN KEATES revealed at least one player will come in on trial when Wrexham return for pre-season on Friday.

An unnamed player who trained with Wrexham last term will get another chance to impress Keates, and feature in friendlies, when the Reds begin preparing for a 10th campaign in non-league.

Keates hasn’t ruled out running the rule over other trialists.

“There is already a lad that is going to come in, it was already sorted from last season,” said Keates.

“We had him in training with us for four days and he did really well but there wasn’t the possibility to get him in a game because reserve team fixtures had finished and we couldn’t get him registered anyway because of the window.

“He will be coming back in so we can have a look at him in competitive matches in pre-season.

“There is a good chance that there will be others.”

Keates is revamping his squad and eight new signings – Christian Dibble, James Hurst, James Jennings, Shaun Pearson, Manny Smith, Sam Wedgbury, Jack Mackreth and Chris Holroyd – have arrived at The Racecourse so far this summer.

The Reds’ boss would like to go into the 2017-18 campaign with around 18 or 19 players and there is a possibility of bringing someone in on loan ahead of the opening game on August 5.

“It worked well for us last season,” said Keates.

“There is a possibility, there is one or two in there that we have got on the list that have been circulated for season-loans or even six-month loans.

“It is something that we will look at as well.

“You might not be able to afford him but you can afford a percentage of his wages and the club want him out.

“They are the kind of options that you are looking at.”

Jennings, who joined Wrexham on loan in January, completed a permanent move to Wrexham after he was released by Cheltenham Town at the end of the season.

Three youngsters who made the temporary switch to Wrexham to gain first-team experience – midfielder Ollie Shenton, striker Ntumba Massanka and goalkeeper Luke Coddington – all impressed, and Keates felt the loan system was a success.

“James did well for us and we signed him on the back end of it,” said Keates.

“Ollie and Ntumba did really well so it worked well for us last season and it is a possibility that it could work again for us next season.”

Wrexham’s first pre-season friendly is against Lex at Stansty Park on Monday July 3 and the Reds also head to Cefn Druids before playing a match during the training break in Portugal.

Unable to stage any matches at The Racecourse because of the summer concerts, Wrexham will visit Stafford Rangers, Warrington Town, Nantwich Town, Altrincham and Chorley before the new campaign gets underway, and Keates is happy with the pre-season programme.

”We have gone after the games,” said Keates.

“They are the games I chose, they are the clubs that we went to and they are all within an hour away of the football club and they are all realistic games in my eyes.

“We could have possibly had a few under 23 games but we are not really going to play against teams like that next season.

“It is more a case of going to clubs who we know are going to compete for the second balls, turn us around and get in our faces like the majority of Conference teams do.”

Keates added: “We have got Lex and then Cefn Druids and that will be a different test for us on a different surface, something we will come up against next season, and there is the game out in Portugal where the lads are just getting settled in.

“When we come back from Portugal, they will be the more competitive ones.”

- Macclesfield Town have re-signed goalkeeper Shwan Jalal from Wrexham on a one-year contract.

The 33-year-old Iraq-born stopper spent the 2015-16 season with the Silkmen and made 38 appearances, but moved to the Dragons last summer before being released by boss Keates.

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

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