Wrexham AFC boss Dean Keates wants John Rooney contract resolution


Richard Williams

DEAN KEATES wants a resolution to John Rooney’s contract issue as soon as possible.

Rooney, a summer signing from arch rivals Chester, is one start away from activating a contract extension and the 11-goal leading scorer has been named on the substitutes bench for the last three games.

Although Rooney has indicated he would like to stay at The Racecourse, and has been in talks with Keates over a new deal, an agreement has not been reached and he could be allowed to go out on loan, with the midfielder heavily linked to a move to Guiseley.

Keates, who  admits the situation needs sorting and can’t go on, said: “Eventually it is going to get to that point, it is just watch this space. 

“John wants to play all the time, he loves playing football. But the situation needs to be the best for both parties and both parties need to be happy with it and obviously one party is not happy with it at the moment.

“We are trying with John but it is still not over the line.”

Rooney was named the National League player of the month for January after scoring four goals and Keates said the award was well deserved.

“It is a great accolade for John and the football club, he has done really well,” said Keates. “It is thoroughly deserved for him.”

Wrexham are unbeaten in six games after drawing 1-1 against highflying Dover Athletic at the weekend, the Reds’ last defeat coming at Southport on New Year’s Day.

Keates missed out on the Manager of the Month award for January despite Wrexham being one of the division’s form teams – Dagenham and Redbridge boss John Still received the accolade – but he doesn’t mind.

“I am not in the game for individual medals or anything like that,” said Keates. “I have been fortunate to win promotions playing and that is being part of a team.

“Now I am part of a team that work hard behind the scenes, I am just the person who is at the head of it but there are more people than me who are more than pulling their weight for the football club to go forward.

“We do what we can to affect the changing room, give them the information and they go out and perform.

“All being well we can put a team out there that satisfies everything that the club and the area deserves.

“You are going to win games, you are going to lose games, it is how you react. We lost on New Year’s Day but we have had a good reaction since so all being well that can continue for the rest of the season.”

Fifth placed Dover took the lead but Wrexham equalised 10 minutes from time through  Jordan White from another  Rooney assist.

“I think overall a draw was a fair result,” said Keates. “We had two shots on target, Dover had one.

“The downside for us was obviously the fact they got the goal but on another day we could have nicked it in the last five minutes, we had a couple of chances.

“But it is a tough place to go, it is a point and it is a positive.

“Going down there was going to be a test to see how far we have come and I think first 25 minutes was as good as we have played, we pushed them right back.

“But the way they play you are always going to end up in a contest because they play percentage and go  forward as quick as they can.”

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