LUKE YOUNG didn't want to leave Wrexham but the outgoing first-team captain admits being released was probably for the best because he believes chances would be limited next season.

The midfielder has not been offered a new deal by Phil Parkinson and departs The Racecourse following a successful six-season spell.

Brought in by Sam Ricketts from Torquay United in the summer of 2018, Young made 259 appearances and scored 22 goals for the club, helping Wrexham clinch back-to-back promotions for the first time in the club's history.

After making 38 appearances when Wrexham clinched the National League title following a record-breaking 2022-23 National League campaign, Young played 25 games - 12 from the start - this season as the Reds finished runners-up in League Two to make it back-to-back promotions for the first time in the club's history.

Even though he would love to have continued his stint in north Wales - he was the longest serving player in the squad - Young prefers the fact that there was no contract offer to mull over and that it was "taken out of my hands" because he accepts he would probably have featured less in League One next season if he was retained.

"Obviously I was disappointed not to extend my stay but on the other hand, I kind of expected it a little bit with how the season went for me personally," said the 31-year-old.

"I was not starting as much, not being involved as much and being out of the squad a fair bit more than what I am used to.

"It was never like the writing was on the wall but it was painting little pictures to myself to say that maybe my time was coming to an end, and getting promoted probably added a bit more of a factor into it as well.

"I was not playing as much as I would have liked to anyway, we are obviously going to sign more players - whether that is in my position or not - so my game-time was probably going to get even more limited than what it was already.

"The gaffer was honest in what he said. He thought it was time to move on. He wanted me to go and get regular game-time somewhere else, do what I've done here and be a regular starter for somebody.

"I respect that more than them turning around and offering me a year at Wrexham knowing that I may not play that much.

"I would rather it get taken out of my hands and them say it is time for me to move on, and it probably is the right decision and the right time.

"As much as I would love to stay and carry on the journey, all good things eventually do come to an end."

A huge fans' favourites, there was no shortage of personal accolades for Young during his time with Wrexham.

Young won back-to-back Player of the Season Awards in 2019-20 and 2020-21, two Goal of the Season Trophy accolades, and one Top Goalscorer gong,  and he was first-team captain for the last three years following his appointment by Parkinson.

Before winning two promotions in a row, Young previously helped Wrexham twice reach the National League play-offs in 2018-19 and 2021-22, while the Reds missed out on a top-seven finish after only drawing at Dagenham and Redbridge on the final day of the 2020-21 season.

The 2019-20 campaign was more of a struggle and Wrexham only just avoided relegation on a Points Per Game basis after it ended prematurely because of the coronavirus pandemic, and Young identifies that as the only poor season the Reds endured since he joined.

And he leaves Wrexham happy that he was part of the side that finally ended the club's Football League exile.

"In years to come, I will look back on the six years I had here and the achievements we had not only collectively as a team but personally as well," he said.

"Back-to-back Player of the Season, back-to-back Goal of the Season.

"In those six seasons, we only had one year - the Covid season - where we have not necessarily been successful.

"We got to the play-offs the first year, then it was the Covid year, then we missed out on the play-offs on the last day at Dagenham so we were always fighting for something, then we got to the play-off semi-final and FA Trophy final at Wembley, and then we got promoted two years on the trot.

"Over the six years, it has been more than a success really and I have achieved what I set-out to do when I first joined, and get Wrexham back into the Football League.

"Obviously it took longer than what everybody wanted but I have still been part of that as much as anybody else."