Dean Keates expects further Wrexham AFC signings this week


Richard Williams

DEAN KEATES was delighted with his debutants and hopes to strengthen his squad further this week.

The Wrexham boss recruited two players on Friday with left-back James Jennings arriving on loan from Cheltenham Town until the end of the season and experienced striker Izale McLeod joining after leaving Corby Town.

Eight players left The Racecourse last week, with Kai Edwards, Nortei Nortey and Tyler Harvey leaving after having their contracts cancelled by mutual consent, while Jordan Evans couldn’t agree terms on a new deal and has also moved on.

Sean Newton has completed a permanent move to York City, Shaun Harrad and Gerry McDonagh have left the club, while Khaellem Bailey-Nicholls has joined Nantwich Town on a one month loan deal, meaning Keates is looking for new additions to boost Wrexham’s fight against relegation.

“It is definitely a work in progress,” said Keates. “I am only in charge of the football club because results have not been good enough.

“It was a case of getting to January and being able to shake things up, move a few players out and get a few in.

“I fell just  short with two players last week, one fell through at the last moment and one chose somewhere else.

“We have got a couple of things in the pipeline so all being well there will be a few more faces in.”

Jennings, brother of Connor, Wrexham captain last season, joined Cheltenham in the summer but has been on loan at Morecambe, while McLeod counts MK Dons  and Portsmouth among his former clubs.

Both players made their Wrexham debuts in Saturday’s 2-1 win against Woking and Keates is delighted to have them

“I have liked James the last few years and thought he is probably one of the best left-backs in the division,” said Keates. “When I knew he was available, it was just a case of me going to get him and I am grateful to the board, they backed me.

“I spoke to Izale, he hasn’t played for a bit and you could see that but the pleasing thing was the link-up play with Jordan White.

“Just watching them in the changing room, they are two men who have played at a higher standard and they know what they want and they know what they want for their team-mates.

“You could see them organising players and just talking to them, and demanding more off them. Good pros do that, he is a good addition to the changing room.”

McLeod joined Northern Premier League side Corby Town in November after leaving Yeovil Town and the 32-year-old is eager to help Wrexham, 10 points above the relegation zone, climb away from trouble.

“I’m a little bit disappointed I did not get on the scoresheet but I am really pleased because we got a deserved three points,” said McLeod.

“It all came about really quick but once I knew there was an opportunity to come and play here, I jumped at it.

“I am really looking forward to get back playing, and scoring goals.

“I have not played in a couple of months so first and foremost I am just excited about getting out on the pitch and playing football, and if I can help by chipping in with a few goals.

“I just want to work hard  and show the boys, management and the fans here that I am ready for the fight and hopefully get a few goals along the way.”

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