SAM WEDGBURY insists that he couldn’t turn his back on Wrexham once manager Dean Keates had come calling.
The 28-year-old became Keates latest signing of the summer after his release from recently promoted Forest Green Rovers earlier this month.
Midfielder Wedgbury turned down more money elsewhere to pen a one-year deal at The Racecourse yesterday, and immediately set his sights on challenging for promotion.
“I had a few offers from clubs, and they were offering good money, but none had the pull of Wrexham,” said Wedgbury. “I wanted to find a club that could challenge at the top of the table and Wrexham are a club that can do that.
“I want to be successful and be part of a good dressing room with a good manager. I know the manager well from playing against him and the players that Wrexham have signed has shown what type of dressing room it will be.
“I’ve played against Wrexham many times and it is always a tough place to come with the fans on top of you and that also helped draw me here, rather than to other clubs.”
Wedgbury, who has joined the likes of Shaun Pearson, Chris Holroyd and James Hurst as new signings at The Racecourse, continued: “We can get promoted.
“We will set a goal of automatic promotion and go from there. With the players we have signed and the ones that the manager is talking about, we can do it.
“The first four or five signings he has made have shown what the manager wants and the fans shouldn’t worry that there is only a few players signed up because he is going for quality over quantity.
“There are good characters signed up at the club and people that know what it takes to be successful.”
Wedgbury came off the bench in the play-off final to help Forest Green beat Tranmere and win promotion to the Football League.
And the all-action midfielder, who is doing his Uefa B Licence, is confident that Wrexham can join Rovers in League Two next term.
“Why can’t we do it?” said Wedgbury when promotion was mentioned. “When I went to Forest Green they had just finished 10th, but then we reached the play-offs for three successive years and got promoted the last time.
“We want to get the expectation back at Wrexham. There is no reason why we can’t go up. People will look at Tranmere and the core of players they have, but we are doing things the right way.
“It is all about how you finish the season. We want a decent start before keeping things ticking over in the middle, before finishing strongly – that’s when it matters.”
Wedgbury, who has also played for the likes of Macclesfield and Stevenage, believes that the personalities in the Wrexham changing room will make sure that the season is a successful one.
“We will set our standards,” said the Oldham-born new arrival. “The manager will tell us what he expects, but the players he’s signed will know that.
“Standards come from within and it is about motivating yourself to do everything you can, which we will. And if we’re not happy then we will tell each other.”
While Wedgbury was happy with be at The Racecourse, boss Keates expressed his delight at capturing the midfielder.
"I have been after him for a few weeks now and following numerous phone calls, I'm pleased to have landed him,” said Keates. "What most impressed me about Sam was that he said he wanted his next move would be to a big football club.
"To hear those words, I knew we had a massive chance and I'm grateful he's bought into what we want to do next season.
"We watched him in one of the late league games last season and he was very impressive when Forest Green beat Tranmere (at Prenton Park), covering every blade of grass.
"He's a fit lad, goes box to box, sits in there to break things up and he's a good size."