JAMIE TOLLEY knows he has got to prove his fitness to earn a contract at Wrexham - but the midfielder is up to the challenge.
Without a club since his contract at Hereford United was terminated by mutual consent in March, the 27-year-old joined Wrexham on trial last week with a view to earning a deal.
Tolley played 45 minutes of Wrexham’s opening pre-season friendly against Vauxhall Motors on Tuesday and he capped his performance off with a goal in the 4-0 victory.
While he knows fitness is the key to extending his stay at The Racecourse, Tolley believes he still has plenty to offer.
“I have settled in well, everything is going well and I would like to stay,” said Tolley.
“I have only been here a week and a half but I am feeling good. I just need to get as fit as I can.
“I had a couple of offers but this attracted me more. It is a big club, has a good manager and it is ideal as I have moved back to Manchester.
“I am definitely looking to get a contract at Wrexham but the main thing is to get fit - I can’t do as much if I am not fit. But I would like to think I have still got the football ability and I think I showed that against Motors.
“Hopefully I can get something sorted as soon as possible but obviously I have got to prove myself.”
Tolley, who has also played for Macclesfield and Shrewsbury Town, was happy with his performance at Motors and said the goal was the icing on the cake.
“I was a bit tired after the game, especially with all the training we have been doing but it was good to get 45 minutes,” said Tolley.
“The goal was a bonus and just topped it off. I thought everything was going well and I enjoyed playing.
“For me to come out of it with a goal I was doubly pleased.”
Tolley only made 10 appearances for Hereford last season, the last coming days before his contract was cancelled in March.
Knowing he needed a fresh challenge, Tolley blamed indifferences with manager John Trewick who also left the Bulls that month.
“Towards the end at Hereford I did not play any games,” added Tolley.
“I was in and out all season, it was a clash of personalities between me and the manager.
“He had his way of doing things which did not go down well with a number of players, but I will keep my opinion of the manager to myself.
“I was looking forward to getting away, I needed a new start.”
Having given Tolley the opportunity to join Wrexham for pre-season training, manager Dean Saunders knows the key is getting the midfielder fit.
“I am just giving Jamie a chance to get fit,” said Saunders. “I know he can do it but rather than make judgements when he is not fit, I am giving him a chance.
“I can see he can play, and he has shown a good attitude as well.”
Tolley was included in the Wrexham party that today set off on a three day training camp in Aberystwyth, with the Reds taking on the Seasiders at Park Avenue in their next friendly on Saturday.
And Saunders, who included all his professionals on the trip as well as trialists including Tolley, stressed the importance of the bonding exercise.
“We have got seven or eight new players and it is all about getting everyone together to get to know each other,” said Saunders.
“It is a trip all about team spirit and the players will contribute to that, they will work hard for each other.
“The players are jostling for places where they stand in the pack. Big characters will come to the front and you will find out who the quiet lads are.”
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