NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH opponents will feature heavily in Wrexham’s pre-season programme.

The 2020-21 National League campaign is set to start on Saturday October 3, with Reds’ boss Dean Keates hoping to welcome his players back for training ahead of the club’s 13th season in the fifth tier in less than a fortnight.

Spectators are also expected to be allowed into grounds - albeit at a significantly reduced stadium capacity because of the coronavirus pandemic - but Wrexham’s pre-season friendlies will be played behind closed doors.

And Keates has already lined up games against a number of teams from the division below, while former Wrexham manager Andy Morrell will also visit The Racecourse with his Hednesford Town outfit who play in the Southern League Premier Division Central.

“I am looking to start our pre-season preparation on August 17,” confirmed Keates.

“We had the framework in place anyway and things in the pipeline. All we have done is changed the dates of what we are going to go and changed the dates of the games.

“It is all a little bit different this year and we have got behind-closed-doors games lined up.

“We have got a double header with Telford and we will also play Southport and Kidderminster while Mozza is going to bring Hednesford up and we are going to play them at our place.

“We will also have a game with Cefn Druids and I have just got one spare date.

"I am just waiting on one first team to get back to me.”

Keates will be targeting a number of new signings before the big kick-off in less than two months time.

The 42-year-old is rebuilding his squad following Wrexham's relegation battle in 2019-20, with the Reds finishing 20th - just one point above the drop zone - after clubs voted to end the season in April due to the pandemic.

Only seven players - Shaun Pearson, Luke Young, Bobby Grant, Rob Lainton, Devonte Redmond, Jay Harris and Daniel Jarvis - are under contract at The Racecourse for next season with Luke Summerfield and Jake Lawlor among the personnel who were released last month.

Mark Carrington, Paul Rutherford, Davis Keillor-Dunn and Christian Dibble have been informed that Keates would like to open discussions with them once they have certainty on when football will return.

However, defender James Jennings opted against waiting to hold contract talks with Keates, instead making the switch to big-spending league rivals Stockport where he has been joined by fellow ex-Reds in the shape of brother Connor, John Rooney and Alex Reid.

Despite the lack of new signings, Keates insists "quality" players will be available and he is confident that he will assemble a squad that will be competitive next term.

“There is a lot of uncertainty with football due to what has happened with this pandemic,” said Keates.

“We have lost players on the back end of it and other clubs have also lost players.

“We will adapt and we will overcome any issues that we come across.

“There is quality out there, it is just making sure that we get the right players in the football club to make sure we are competing next season.”