LUKE YOUNG has joined an exclusive band of Wrexham players in reaching 200 appearances for club.

But the popular Reds’ captain wants to add more to that list and nail down a regular starting role as Wrexham aim to improve on their inconsistent start to the League Two campaign.

“I’m champing at the bit to get on the pitch and make an impression,” said Young, who lost his place in the starting line-up in Wrexham’s promotion run-in en route to the National League title.

He found himself down the pecking order with Tom O’Connor, James Jones and Andy Cannon the regulars boss Phil Parkinson turned to last season.

Young, Wrexham’s current longest serving player, didn’t even make the bench for Wrexham’s opening 5-3 defeat at home to MK Dons.

But he led the team out for the League Cup win against Wigan three days later, scoring in the penalty shoot-out win to earn the Reds a crack at Mark Hughes’ Bradford City in next Tuesday’s second round tie at the STóK Cae Ras.

Back on the bench in the 1-1 draw at AFC Wimbledon, Young came on to make his 200th Wrexham appearance - the 40th post-war Reds star to achieve this feat and the first since Jay Harris in 2021.

“It’s an honour to play 200 times for the club,” said Plymouth-born Young, who moved from his Devon roots at Torquay United to sign for Wrexham in 2018.

“In the five years I have been here, the aim has been to get out of the league and the backing by the owners in the last two years and recruitment we have made, we have reaped the rewards of that.

“It was a proud moment for me to finally get over the line and lift the trophy and it is overwhelming the good reaction to it and how much it means to the fans with what they have gone through over the course of so many long, hard seasons.”

Young’s praise for the fans is fully reciprocated. Many believe the all-action midfielder should be a regular in the starting line-up and that he’s a must to line-up in tomorrow’s clash at Barrow.

Asked why he’s so popular among the supporters, Young, whose last game in the Football League before this season was nine years ago during his days at Plymouth Argyle, said: “I always work hard, whether it’s on the training ground or out on the pitch.

“Obviously the fans don’t see what happens in training but they do in games - and that’s when it really matters.

“The fans appreciate it when they see you putting the effort in and it’s always good to hear what they say and think about me.

“But I’ve had my doubters along the way and whether I’d handle being captain.

“I think I’ve proved I can and that’s something to do with the fact that I always believe in myself. It’s something I’ve always done.”

With Young’s quality from set-pieces also a vital component in his game, the 30-year-old is desperate to force his way into Parkinson’s plans for tomorrow’s trip to Holker Street.

“I’ve started two games this season and I’d call them both positive performances while I’d like to say the same about the two times I’ve come on as sub,” added Young, whose free-kick led to Elliot Lee’s late leveller in Saturday’s 5-5 thriller at home to Swindon.

“I came on with nothing to lose on Saturday - 5-3 down but we managed to scrape a point.

“Now we’ve got the build on that and get back to doing what we do best.”