AS WREXHAM'S footballers go into battle in the National League play-offs this week, they will be able to call on the support of some of the most dedicated and loyal fans in the country.

While thousands follow the Reds' fortunes week in week out, among them is a hardcore supporter who tackles the toughest away trips, which is no minor commitment in a league largely full of teams south of Birmingham,

These fans spend thousands of pounds and hours of their life, travelling all over the country racking up thousands of miles during the season on their way to places such as Gateshead and Barrow in the north of England, to Dover, Havant and Eastleigh in the south.

If the game's mid-week evening fixtures, they do not get home until the early hours of the following morning.

Craig Herling, 24, of Marchwiel is one of those who has done his fair share of miles this season, including the 500-mile plus round trip to Dover on the first day of the campaign.

But he says the hours on the road have been well worth it, with the Reds still in with a chance of promotion back to the Football League.

He said: "Away games are tough, especially when you know we are a bit better when we're at home.

"There are a lot of long away trips in this league and they can be tough, so sometimes we stay over as well.

"I've done Dover this season, Maidenhead, and plenty of others when it's been 12 hours on a bus but Dover was worth it when Mike Fondop got that winning goal, it makes it worthwhile and the trip back home so much better.

"It's why I think we are the biggest club in this league. You don't take more than 1,000 fans to Halifax and equal the number of home fans there if you're not a big club.

"Obviously it has helped this season that the team has been competing at the top but even then, through three different managers, the players and fans have kept going and fed off each other."

He added: "I'm sure our support affects the players in a positive way. We want to help.

"We get time off work, spend good money but the atmosphere is different class.

"I'm optimistic about the Eastleigh play-off game, because of how we've done lately and we can make it a fortress at the Racecourse ground.

"Last season we just didn't have the luck towards the end of the season, but if we do this time, and we do get to Wembley, it will be an expensive couple of weeks."

Another loyal fan who travels the country to watch the Reds is Joshua Perry, 26, from Rhostyllen.

Having supported his hometown club for just over 20 years, he says he's seen more disappointing lows than highs but is hopeful that will change in the next few weeks.

He said: "I've been to Dover, Solihull, Chesterfield - all over the country but it's all worthwhile when you win.

"It's been frustrating with having three managers but there is so much trust in the captain Shaun Pearson and he drags the other players through at times.

"I've followed the club since I was four or five and it really is the hope that kills you sometimes but I'd never give up.

"Travelling to watch the club home and away is a lot of hours and a lot of time off work.

"I've only really seen the promotion season in 2003, the LDV Vans Trophy win in 2005, and the FA Trophy win in 2013, so we're desperate for more success.

"Hopefully a packed out Racecourse on Thursday night against Eastleigh will be just the start."