DEAN KEATES believes having local lads and players who know how much it means to be successful with Wrexham is crucial to ending the club's Football League exile.

Keates revamped his squad over the summer ahead of a 13th season in non-league after narrowly avoiding relegation in 2019-20.

Although the likes of Mark Carrington - the longest serving player in the ranks - captain Shaun Pearson and Paul Rutherford remain at The Racecourse, Keates make 11 new signings over the summer.

One of those was Jordan Davies, a former academy graduate who has returned to his hometown club after leaving Brighton and Hove Albion.

Keates enjoyed a successful spell with hometown club Walsall and also went onto manager the Saddlers so he is knows how proud Davies is to wear the Wrexham shirt - and there are plenty of other people desperate to revive Wrexham's fortunes.

"I played for my hometown club and I think that is massive for a football club, that they have somebody from the town," said Keates.

"It is engrained what it is about.

"Previously I had Robbie Evans, now it is Jordan.

"But I have got players like Mark Carrington, seven years of service and knows what this football club is about.

"I have been here myself, Shaun Pearson has been here long enough now, Luke Young and Paul Rutherford have been.

"The backroom staff, Wrexham fans and Wrexham boys through and through.

"These lads know what it's like to play for this football club."

Although new to the club, Keates is in no doubt that his new signings are just as hungry to win promotion with Wrexham.

"When I recruited these players over the summer, and spoke with them, they know what this town is about," said Keates. "We sold it to them.

"They are representing half of the nation - we are up here in north Wales on our own.

"They know the massive club that they are playing for and they know what the expectations are of this football club.

"They have got to deal with it and when the fans come back in, as long as they are giving everything, they will get behind them."

Wrexham finished 20th, just one point above the drop zone, when the 2019-20 season was suspended because of the coronavirus crisis and the National League table was finalised on a points per game basis.

Although he was confident Wrexham would have stayed up if they had played their final nine games, Keates knew changes had to be made to the playing personnel for the Reds to be challenging at the other end of the table this term.

"I don't want to go back and talk about the group last year," said Keates.

"It wasn't a bad group but sometimes things need to change.

"Whether there was a hangover from the play-offs the season before, maybe there was just a little bit of mist in their minds.

"Once you are in a rut, it is hard to get out of it; what happened before Covid happened but I believe that group would have stayed in this division even if Covid hadn't happened.

"Would we still be in the same situation? Yes.

"Things wouldn't have changed, the club needed a fresh impetus and what we have seen over the games so far, I believe we can only get stronger."

Keates admits there will be off days in pursuit of glory but the way Wrexham responded to a first defeat at Solihull Moors by winning 1-0 against Yeovil on Saturday proves to him his players are up for the fight.

"Every game isn't going to be amazing and we aren't going to play great football," added Keates.

"We are going to make mistakes and we are going to lose games as we did at Solihull.

"The reaction was what we showed at Yeovil.

"We were disappointed with Solihull, it could have been difficult for us to take because we played so well and dominated for long periods but we lost 1-0."