Wrexham AFC manager Dean Keates won't rush into signing new strikers

Reporter:

Richard Williams

DEAN KEATES  is short of attacking options in his new-look Reds' side but the Wrexham boss insists he won’t sign players just for the sake of it.

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

Chris Dunn, Mark Carrington, Leo Smith, Paul Rutherford and first year pro Olly Marx remain from last season, meaning Holroyd is the only striker in the ranks.

Looking to bring in more firepower, Keates has made offers to four targets and while he is hoping for decisions before Wrexham return for pre-season on Friday, he has other options and won’t panic buy.

“We have got a list that we have gone through of what we want at the club and we have put things out there,” said Keates.

“They are more attacking players and there is a lot more interest in them than other positions.

“We have had to bide our time. We are just waiting for answers but I am fairly confident we will know a lot more in the next 24-48 hours.

“All four are still possible. But there a lot of other clubs and they are assessing their options. But we have got other options.”

Wrexham boast a proud history but coach Carl Darlington hopes to entice transfer targets because the future is bright at The Racecourse.

Keates, assistant Andy Davies and Darlington, who has returned to Wrexham after leaving Welsh Premier League champions The New Saints, are building a squad that will hopefully challenge for promotion when the Reds return for a 10th season in non-league.

And Darlington, who was coach at Wrexham from December 2014 to May 2015 when then-boss Gary Mills deemed he was surplus to requirements, believes his hometown club is an attractive propositon for players.

“We are such a big football club and big stature,” said Darlintgon.  “The history is there, everyone knows the history, but it is the future we are trying to sell them not the history.

“We are ambitious, we are a young management team with a bit of experience around us all.

“Dean in terms of playing, me in terms of coaching and Andy in terms of developing players, so between the three of us we have got such a great blend.

“And the most important thing is we want the best for the football club and moving forward, not just being stagnant.

“We want to get promotion and we are not in it for a quick fix, we are in it for the longevity.

“It is making sure we sell the club to people but we are so ambitious, when we are speaking to people the enthusiasm comes out in terms of that and where we want to be.”

Keates is presiding over another revamp of the Wrexham squad, with lots of comings and goings, after finishing mid-table last term.

Some new signings have penned two year deals and Darlington believes offering longer term contracts will bring much needed stability.

“We have got to get stability at the football club and we have put two year contracts out because that is what stability means,” said Darlington.

“I have always been at teams where we have changed three or four players maximum each year.

“You have got a core, they know how they play and know each other inside out, and you just add onto that each year.

“We have got the misfortune of not having that opportunity but we have got the fortunate opportunity of bringing players in now and building for the future.

“It is not quick fixes for the first six months, eight months or first season, this is a longer period of project and we want to make sure we get the right players in that is going to give us that stability going forward.”

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