Olly Marx offered his first professional contract at Wrexham AFC


Richard Williams

OLLY MARX has been offered a first professional contract at Wrexham.

The 18-year-old centre-back impressed Wrexham manager Dean Keates  after being handed his chance in the team towards the end of the 2016-17 season.

But fellow scholar George Harry, a striker who also featured in the Wrexham side this term and scored from the penalty spot in the 1-1 draw with Torquay on March 25, has not been offered a senior contract.

“We are in negotiations with Olly,” said Keates. “He has been outstanding for us.

“We have made him an offer so it is just a case of sitting down with him.”

Marx was given his chance after Keates allowed Curtis Tilt to join Forest Green Rovers on loan in March.

Tilt indicated he would not sign a new contract so Marx made his senior debut in the 1-1 draw at Barrow on March 21 and he went on to make seven starts, earning praise from Keates for the quality of his performances.

“The situation with Curtis was highlighted regarding he was being touted around and I don’t think we were going to be one of his options,” said Keates.

“We would be sat here now still waiting to see what was happening and he would have had another 20-odd days left in the month,

“What happened, happened, and it gave me the opportunity to have a look at Olly in games when we weren’t going to go down and we weren’t really challenging for anything.

“We gave him the opportunity to get into the team and he did well.

“There is going to be no bigger test than the amount of balls that Barrow put you under pressure and down at Eastleigh he played against Craig McAllister and Matt Tubbs who are seasoned professionals.

“He acquitted himself correctly and showed that he has got a bright future in front of him.”

Keates has now challenged Marx to establish himself in the first team and try to earn a place in the starting XI when the 2017-18 season kicks off in August.

“For any young player the first thing is to get your foot through the door,” said Keates.

“Olly has got seven appearances under his belt this season, now it is a case of can he push up into double figures.

“I know that if he plays from the first game next season, he is more than capable of performing.”

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

Keates is optimistic the duo will commit their futures and re-sign along with Paul Rutherford, who has agreed a new contract.

“It is just a case of Chris getting it signed, it is all agreed and all in place,” said Keates.

“There are just one or two things to iron out with Russell but it is no major stumbling block.

“It has all been agreed with Paul so it is just a case of the lads coming down to the stadium and putting the pen on the paper.”

Keates, who already has Mark Carrington and Leo Smith under contract at The Racecourse, has made a number of offers to targets and is waiting for answers.

“There are offers out there so it is just a case of waiting to see what happens now,” added Keates.

“I have put things to players and I am optimistic that we can get some in.

“We have done our part and given them contracts so all being well the players will accept them.

“As it stands at the moment, a lot of meetings will go on up and down the country this week.

“But the Football League has just finished and we are still in the middle of the play-off situation be it in our division, National League North and National League South.”

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