CHRIS MAXWELL is optimistic he will go into the new Conference campaign as Wrexham’s first choice goalkeeper.

After losing Sam Russell to Darlington earlier this summer, Dean Saunders was looking to bring in a second shot stopper to compete with Wales under 21 international Maxwell for the number one jersey.

Saunders has signed former Coventry City and Bristol Rovers keeper Scott Shearer on a two-year deal and the duo have shared the responsibilities during pre-season.

But Maxwell, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Friday, is looking to secure his place in the team.

“I knew we needed another goalkeeper,” said Maxwell. “It was inevitable because you need at least two goalkeepers at a club, I am glad it is all done and dusted.

“The fight is on for the number one spot, it will be a good test for me. Scott has not come here just to sit on the bench either.

“There has been no indication from the manager yet. I started against Preston North End and he played against Crewe Alexandra.

“Of course I want to be number one. Obviously it won’t be easy like any position.

“I am just going to concentrate on myself and try to get the number one shirt. I know I can do it and am confident. I played 30 games last season, kept 15 clean sheets and was named Young Player of the Year.”

Maxwell has welcomed the competition and believes the arrival of Shearer will benefit his game.

“Scott is a good lad and we have been getting on really well,” said Maxwell.

“I will keep improving with Scott here. He is a big lad, is dominant in the air so that will help me aerially.

“I am happy he has come in, he will keep me on my toes and I will keep getting better.”

Maxwell’s bid to be named first choice has been helped by the fact he has been left out of the Wales U-21 squad for the friendly against Malta on August 10, with Wrexham playing their opening match of the season just four days later.

But manager Brian Flynn has assured Maxwell that he will return to the fold for the vital UEFA U-21 Championship qualifiers against Hungary and Italy early next month.

“I spoke to Brian and he has assured me that I will be going to Italy and Hungary,” said Maxwell.

“I have started every game for the U-21s in the qualifying campaign but when you look at the squad for the friendly, there are only about two or three players who have been in previous squads.

“I am not concerned. I am just concentrating on what is going on at Wrexham and don’t want any distractions.”

But whoever gets the nod for the opening match against Cambridge United next Saturday, Maxwell said the priority remains Wrexham winning promotion.

 “We have just got to get out of this league, whether it is Scott or me playing,” added Maxwell.

- Former Wrexham centre-back Mansour Assoumani has joined League Two outfit Stockport County.