DEAN KEATES wants to reward loyal Wrexham fans for their backing by putting out a team they can be proud of next season.

More than 1,700 season tickets were snapped up by supporters before the early bird deadline on June 3, and more have been sold since then.

It has been a busy summer at The Racecourse with Keates making new eight signings ahead of a 10th campaign in non league.

The arrivals have been welcomed by fans and Keates applaued their efforts in buying so many season tickets at such an early stage of the close season.

“It is a fantastic response,” said Keates.

“The fans can see what we are trying to do and what we are trying to bring in, and the quality that we have added so far.

“And there will be a few more coming in over the next few weeks.

“The sales of season tickets has been frightening and long may it continue. Hopefully we can beat what we had last season.

“I have said it a million times, the fans are the club and every year they do it.

“All being well we can bring something together that they can be proud of this season.”

Goalkeeper Christian Dibble, defenders James Hurst, James Jennings, Shaun Pearson and Manny Smith, midfielder Sam Wedgbury, winger Jack Mackreth and striker Chris Holroyd have all signed on at Wrexham.

More than £50,000 was raised through the Build The Budget fund, giving Keates extra finances in an attempt to build a squad that will challenge for promotion next season.

Keates is pleased with how his squad is shaping up and that fans have welcomed the signings he has made.

“The Build the Budget and what has been raised and what has been achieved with that, all being well the fans are happy with everything we have invested in,” said Keates.

“We have spread it across the whole lot and added what we feel is the right quality to take the club forward.

“All being well we can put out a team that represents what the town is all about, a team that is full of passion and pride.

“We have got ideas of what we want to represent the town and the fans are buying into it.”

Wrexham, relegated from the Football League in 2008, are seen as one of the biggest clubs in the fifth tier.

Keates, who led Wrexham away from the relegation zone up to a mid-table finish after taking over as manager last October, is determined to challenge for promotion when the 2017-18 campaign kicks off in August.

“I know what it is all about and it must be hard for the fans to hear every single player who comes in saying the same thing,” added Keates.

“They have been hearing it for 10 years – how big the club is and it shouldn’t be in non-league – but it is what it is.

“Players come in and say what they feel is their honest opinion about the football club which it is.

“Everybody goes on about how the club shouldn’t be here and how big the support is, it is what it is, but all being well we can put something together on the pitch that can give the town something to be happy about.”