MAX CLEWORTH admits his personal accolade following a brilliant break-through season was bitter-sweet after Wrexham fell short in the promotion push.

The centre-back was rewarded for his efforts in 2021-22 by winning the Young Player of the Season award.

A product of the club’s youth academy, Cleworth made his league debut on the opening day of the campaign at Solihull Moors and was a regular in the side from the end of January, with the 19-year-old making 29 league appearances.

The final match was the heartbreaking 5-4 defeat against Grimsby at The Racecourse in the National League play-off semi-final which came off the back of a 1-0 defeat to Bromley in the FA Trophy final at Wembley and those results took the shine off Cleworth's gong.

"On one hand I was happy to get the award but after the last two weeks, the season ended in disappointment which has been hard to take," said Cleworth.

"The season ended a week earlier than we wanted so although I was pleased to get the award, ultimately it was disappointment and frustration the way the season ended."

Cleworth can be proud of the progress he has made despite mixed emotions as Wrexham plan for a 15th season in non-league,

"Maybe in pre-season I will look back and see how much I learnt this season," said Cleworth.

"Obviously I am still young but I wanted to win, I wanted to get promoted with this team and to fall short of that at Wembley and last Saturday was hard to take.

"Hopefully we can become a better team for it and get promoted next season."

Cleworth, who signed a new contract last October keeping him at The Racecourse until 2024, previously played cup matches in the first team and had a loan spell at Caernarfon during the 2020-21 campaign before he was given his big chance on the National League stage by Phil Parkinson.

He also scored his first senior goal in December's 5-0 win against Gloucester City in the FA Trophy third round.

Despite failing to clinch promotion - Wrexham finished runners-up to Stockport in the race for the title before losing in the play-offs - Cleworth has some fond memories of his first season as a Wrexham regular.

"Obviously the goal was up there, the way I hit it and I had my mates in the crowd watching," said Cleworth.

"I felt like Chesterfield away was a big game; we didn't play well in the first half and then we turned it around; we had lots of fans there and it felt like a big game.

"The FA Trophy semi-final against Stockport and the one in the league, those atmosphere's were unbelievable and Paul Mullin scoring in the 90th minute of the cup game was absolutely mad so I'd say they were the highlights."