Wrexham AFC: Dean Keates expects contracts progress at The Racecourse


Richard Williams

Dean Keates is hoping two players commit their futures to Wrexham today and he starts getting answers from targets.

Keates is revamping the squad after Wrexham finished 13th in the National League this season and just two out of contract players – goalkeeper Chris Dunn and midfielder Russell Penn – have been offered new deals.

The duo are expected to make a decision today while Keates is keeping his fingers crossed that he can start to announce new signings after making numerous offers to players.

“The two lads that we made offers to will let me know what is happening by today,” said Keates, who already has Mark Carrington and Leo Smith under contract with Paul Rutherford set to sign his new deal.

“We have obviously got outside players coming in. “A few of them are still under contract elsewhere so there are a lot of decisions to be made, not just on what we want to do with them but on other clubs and other situations that they will possibly have.

“All being well, I am optimistic that we could possibly get a few bodies in as soon as we can.

“I have had a few meetings this week with players and all being well we can get something done for next week.

“There have been offers made to a fair few players. The Football League hasn’t finished yet and there are still play-off games to be played.

“We just need a bit of patience at the moment. “It is not great having to wait but I have sold the football club as much as I can, I sold myself as much as I can and told players that I want them to be part of this football club going forward.”

Nine players were released when Keates announced his retained list on Monday. Newly-crowned Player of the Year, Martin Riley, captain Rob Evans, leading scorer Jordan White, Shwan Jalal, Iffy Allen, Khaellem Bailey-Nicholls, Anthony Barry, Izale McLeod and Callum Powell weren’t offered new deals.

Curtis Tilt, Hamza Bencherif and John Rooney, all currently out on loan, are also leaving but Keates is not fazed by the huge rebuilding process ahead of Wrexham’s 10th season in non-league and he is not short of targets.

“I am not frightened,” said Keates.

“Everything that we have done, and what we are looking at recruiting, if we don’t get the first choice then all being well we get the second choice, and if we don’t get that we will get the third choice.

“I have literally got as many players in every position we are looking at and it is just touching base with players all the time.

“I have been putting offers out to people and all being well they accept them.”

Keates, who will also hold talks with on-loan Cheltenham Town defender James Jennings about extending his stay, added: “It is going to be a complete rebuild.

“All being well we will have four or five that are already in the building but it is going to be a nucleus of a completely new squad in pre-season.

“Hopefully we can get it done as early as possible.

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