James Hurst aiming to enjoy his football at Wrexham AFC

Published date: 11 July 2017 |
Published by: Richard Williams
Read more articles by Richard Williams


 JAMES HURST has had his share of clubs but he is determined to enjoy his spell at Wrexham.

Hurst became Reds boss Dean Keates first new signing of the summer when he penned a one-year deal after leaving Dover Athletic in May.

Dover is one of a host of clubs that Hurst has played for, with the 25-year-old featuring in the Premier League for West Brom, and turning out for Blackpool, Shrewsbury, Chesterfield, Birmingham City, Crawley and Northampton in the Football League.

There have also been spells at various non-league clubs for Hurst, who represented England from under-16 to under-20 level, but he wants to make the most of his opportunity at Wrexham.

“I am just trying to do the best I can for the team and enjoy it,” said Hurst. “At this point of your career you have got to really enjoy it and try and do the best for Wrexham.

“I have got to have a really good go at things, especially at a good club like Wrexham.

“There is a lot of expectation but the main thing is to enjoy it.

“If you are uptight and not enjoying it, it is not really what it is about. The enjoyment comes and then the results will follow.

“It is a privilege to play football and that is what I am doing so long may it continue.”

Although a number of the players in Keates’ new-look squad are familiar with each other having played together at other clubs, Hurst is in a different position.

“I am enjoying it, we are all getting stronger, and I can’t wait for the season to start,” said Hurst.

“They are a great set of lads here at Wrexham and the facilities are all good.

“It is one of the first clubs I have been too and I actually didn’t know anybody!

“It is good to get to know some new people and play with some good players.”

Hurst can play in defence and midfield and he played 45 minutes in both positions during the opening pre-season wins against Lex and Cefn Druids.

Wrexham continue their build-up to the new National League campaign with a friendly against Louletano DC in Portugal tonight.

The match is part of Wrexham’s four day training camp in the Algarve and Hurst believes the trip will be of huge benefit when Wrexham kick-off the new campaign with a home clash against Macclesfield Town on August 5.

“You can’t beat a free holiday!” joked Hurst. “It is warm weather training and apparently it helps get you fitter training with a bit of heat.

“I have been all over the world in the past on training camps, with West Brom, England, Crawley and other clubs, it is good to get away.

“I didn’t know when I signed for Wrexham but I was glad to hear that we were going away.”

Wrexham will clock up the miles in the opening five weeks of the season, with Hurst’s former club Dover among the long trips.

“I have got a soft spot for Dover but we are going to have to go there and try and do our best to win," added Hurst. 

“It will be nice to see some of the lads.”

All 11 summer signings have travelled to the Algarve for the training camp, along with five players who remain from last season’s squad and two trialists.

A number of youth team players featured in the opening two friendles, including Doug Tharme, Danny Stephens, Ben Barratt and Niall Freeman, although they aren’t taking part in tonight’s friendly against Louletano, who play in the third tier of the Portuguese national league.

But Keates, operating with a small squad this term, says the scholars have impressed.

“They have done well,” said Keates. “We created a pathway last season with the likes of Leo Smith, Olly Marx, George Harry and four more involved during the FA Cup run and towards the end of the season.

“There’s a pathway created to show the youth team players that they can be a part of it.

“We brought them in and they have acquitted themselves really well.

“They are responding to the training with Stephen Wright and Joey Jones, and we know that if we need to go to the kids, they are more than capable of it.”

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