HE’S Wrexham’s man in Vancouver - former Reds and Whitecaps defender Shaun Pejic.

So what better person to explain the impact in Ryan Reynolds home-town city than Pejic, who now works there for for the Electronic Arts team that make the world-renowned video football game, FIFA.

“When I first read social media and there were rumours of two Hollywood stars interested in taking over Wrexham Football Club, honestly, I thought it was a joke,” said Pejic, who made 200 appearances in a 10-year stint at The Racecourse, that included a promotion campaign in 2003 and the Football League Trophy triumph two years later.

“There is no way two people from Hollywood would even know where Wrexham was in the world, never mind knowing anything about football, and have an interest in taking over the club as new owners. I’m pretty sure everyone linked to Wrexham thought the same.

“But now, after everything has developed and things are moving forward, it’s an amazing opportunity for Wrexham Football Club to grow their fan base, have fresh ideas into the business, and invest some money into the club.

“I really hope it pays off and this elevates the club back up the football leagues and can bring some excitement back to Wrexham town.”

Pejic knows exactly how passionate Wrexham supporters are following his long association with a club that his father Mel also played for before becoming the physio.

He also hopes that Reynolds and his new co-owner Rob McElhenney, who expect to fully take control this week, are in for the long-run.

“I hope the new owners are in it for the longer term,” added Pejic, who had a spell playing in the United Soccer League with Vancouver 12 years ago.

“Investing money into a club doesn’t guarantee success and promotion up the leagues, as everyone in the football world knows.

“The worst case scenario is that their intention is to make a documentary of a small-town football club over a five year period but after five years Wrexham don’t progress as quickly as they intended, so they lose interest.

Still, five years of camera crews and money invested into the club can only be a good thing for Wrexham, if that’s all that happens.

“ I will of course be tuning in to watch the documentary, and I’m excited to see what happens to Wrexham over the next few years as a town and a football club.”

With ice-hockey being the number sport in Canada, news of Wrexham’s takeover wasn’t massive over there but word did get round the offices at EA Sports, where the Reds could also be big hits.

“The news in Canada didn’t have as big an impact as it probably did in North Wales, seeing as ice hockey is the number one sport up here,” added Pejic, who worked briefly at EA while ex-Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore, who has promised to work in an advisory role for Wrexham, was there.

“The news did reach EA and people started asking me questions and were interested in learning more about Wrexham, and where it was in the world. Some people up here don’t even know what or where Wales is.

“If Wrexham get into League One - or above - within five years, I’ll add an extra boost to Wrexham in FIFA to give them a bit of an edge!

“In all seriousness, it would be great to see the club grow and work its way up the leagues and challenge Cardiff and Swansea again as the biggest club in Wales.

“And I hope Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney can bring that back to where it was when I was playing and even go past that level.

“It gives Wrexham hope and excitement, even in these strange times with Covid. I’m excited to see what lies ahead for Wrexham.”

And the Whitecaps - Pejic’s old club - also gave their response to the news that Reynolds was taking over at Wrexham.

“For sure, it generated a nice buzz around here,” the club’s Senior Communications Manager, Nathan Vanstone, said. “The sale was also around the same time he and his wife donated half a million to Covenant House – a charity that supports homeless youth in Canada.”

As for any ex-Wrexham players who were born in Canada, there is one.

Goalkeeper Don Ferguson played 20 times for Dixie McNeil’s side in the 1985/86 season - and loved his time at The Racecourse.

He told the Toronto Star: “It was such a fond time for me. I always look at their results every weekend.

“A few of the players would drive me around the valleys, it was a beautiful part of the world and football is part of the fabric for the place.”