WREXHAM FC will reach the play-offs this season – and could do even better.
That is the bold prediction of Wrexham-born ex-Blue Peter presenter and football fan Tim Vincent, who reckons the Reds are heading for an overdue return to the Football League.
But some are less confident of the team’s chances during the new campaign. As fans hold their breath ahead of the new season, the Leader spoke to some of those closest to the club.
Despite last year’s disappointing 11th-place finish in the Blue Square Bet Premier, expectations are running higher than ever ahead of Saturday’s big kick-off against Cambridge United at the Racecourse.
Vincent said “As fans, we always start confident at the beginning of the season. We have good positive vibes and the fans have always been strong in getting behind the team. There is always a chance with Wrexham. Not all teams have that. We have got the grit. We should get to the play-offs at least.”
Steve Watkin, who played for the Reds from 1989 to 1997, is among those who believe the team can move forward.
He said: “Dean Saunders has brought some good players in. We had a nucleus of a good team last year. I think this year they can go from strength to strength.
“They have had some good results in pre-season but you won’t be able to tell until after about 10 games. It is important to get a good start and to build momentum.”
But he added a note of caution: “Anything less than a play-off place would be considered a failure.”
During the close season Saunders brought in signings including new captain Dean Keates and centre-back Chris Blackburn.
The squad has also been bolstered by the return of a true fans’ favourite in the shape of striker Andy Morrell.
Wrexham legend Arfon Griffiths, a former manager and player, said he thought all the team was lacking was a few more goals.
He said: “We’ve got good mobility, good passers of the ball, and good strikers who can score a lot of goals. We just need to make sure we service them properly from the flanks.
“If we can keep fitness levels up, get the crowd behind us and get off to a good start, I think we’ll finish higher than we did last season.” Jim Kelly, mayor of Wrexham, said: “I hope the team manages to get Wrexham back into the higher divisions, and restore a bit of pride to our town.”
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