PHIL PARKINSON has been appointed first team manager of Wrexham on a 12-month rolling contract.

The 53-year-old boasts nearly two decades’ experience as a manager, and has become highly respected in the game during a managerial career that has seen him take charge of six different clubs.

During his time in the dug-out, Parkinson, who also played more than 500 league games in an 18-year playing career, has won promotion on three occasions.

He arrives at The Racecourse Ground having most recently managed at Sunderland, and replaces Dean Keates who left the club after Wrexham failed to secure a play-off spot last season and his contract was not extended.

Parkinson, at the helm for Wrexham's 14th campaign in non-league which kicks off on Saturday August 21, is excited by the challenge that lies ahead as he becomes the first manager brought in by Hollywood stars Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds after they completed their takeover of the club in February.

The Leader: Phil Parkinson

Phil Parkinson

“Once the plans of the chairmen were explained to me, the decision to join Wrexham was very easy. Wrexham are an EFL club in all but the one thing that matters, league status, and we have a very clear objective with the work starting immediately," said Parkinson.

“The club didn’t need selling to me, it sold itself and I wanted to be part of the journey this club is about to embark upon.

“We have a lot to do to be ready for August 21 and in the next seven weeks the aim is to add quality players to the existing squad, and create an environment and culture which gives us the best possible chance of promotion.”

Parkinson emerged as the ideal candidate to spearhead Wrexham’s bid to return to the Football League, after a month-long process that considered the relative merits of more than 60 applicants.

Commenting on Parkinson’s appointment, co-chairmen McElhenney and Reynolds said: “The process put in place by Les Reed, Shaun Harvey, Humphrey Ker and Fleur Robinson was thorough, and we were presented with any number of good options, all of whom would have been very credible managers for the club.

“We’d like to thank all those that applied for the role but once we knew Phil was interested, he was our man and we got him.

“Phil has an immediate objective of gaining promotion but is conscious of our ambitions for the club and embraced each element of our vision.”

As a player, Parkinson came through the youth ranks at Southampton, before making his Football League debut with Bury and then spending more than a decade with Reading.

At the conclusion of his playing career, his first managerial job was at Colchester, who he led to promotion to the Championship in 2006.

He moved to Hull City and then Charlton Athletic – joining the latter as first an assistant, before replacing Alan Pardew as manager.

In his next managerial job at Bradford City, Parkinson earned national recognition after leading the fourth-tier Bantams to the 2012/13 League Cup Final.

They earned promotion to League One at the end of the same season, before another cup giantkilling when they beat Chelsea in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge in the following campaign.

Parkinson earned the third promotion of his career, with Bolton Wanderers, in 2016/17 and has since managed Sunderland.

He will be joined by Steve Parkin as assistant manager with at least one further appointment to follow.