DEAN KEATES has reassured Wrexham's playing squad that he's just a phone call away with the future of the game up in the air.

With the coronavirus crisis causing havoc with the sporting calendar it's a testing time for players throughout the pyramid, but especially those in non-league football, who are not on the vast sums of money enjoyed by those at the very top.

Only six of Wrexham's squad - Shaun Pearson, Rob Lainton, Jay Harris, Luke Young, Dan Jarvis and Devonte Redmond - are under contract for next season, while the entire playing squad has been placed on furlough alongside backroom staff.

The likes of Kieran Kennedy have praised Keates for his handling of the current situation, which has led to the National League season being brought to an abrupt end.

Keates, who enjoyed a 20-year playing career of his own, said: "I understand the situation the players are in and I check in with them at least once a week to see how they are getting on.

"Players know that if they need me I am just a phone call away and that myself and the club will support them in any way that we can.

"It's difficult having no face-to-face contact, even if there are ways to communicate, and we are trying to do the best we can."

A large number of the Wrexham squad are set to be out of contract this summer, but with football brought to a standstill by the global pandemic, Keates is unable to finalise plans for the new season - whenever that may be.

The likes of National League rivals Solihull Moors have decided to announce their retained list, axing 15 players.

Chairman Darryl Eales said: “This is always a tough time of the year when difficult decisions are taken in respect of players – and this is all the more so, given the challenging circumstances that everyone is experiencing.

“I would first like to thank all players who we have released for their contribution to Moors and we wish them well for the future.

“We are delighted with the quality of the group of players who are being retained and we will continue to look to strengthen the squad over the summer. We want to ensure we are ready to go as soon as it is safe to play football and the new season starts.”

Reds boss Keates won't be rushing into any decisions.

"It's hard," said Keates. "Again, I understand the situation the players are in and they don't need extra things to potentially worry about at the moment, although some players would rather just know if they've got a job or not.

"It's not a call I'd look forward to making, because I've only ever told a player they are being retained or released face-to-face, I like to be able to look them in the eye and be honest about the reasons.

"Eventually there will be a time when a decision needs to be made on those players being retained, and then of course, those being released."

After time was called on the campaign last month, Wrexham will only return to action when the new campaign comes around, and that means the players have close season fitness programmes to follow.

"Everything has been tapered down since the season was ended," said Keates. "We had a close season plan in place before the problems hit, so the players are following that now and we will see when we can get back to training.

"We've not been able to plan pre-season because we don't have a start date.

"We are in limbo."