LUKE YOUNG insists he never took his place in the side for granted, even after being appointed captain, and says hard work was the key to him playing so many games for Wrexham. 

The midfielder has not been offered a contract by Reds' boss Phil Parkinson and leaves The Racecourse after 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, helping Wrexham clinch back-to-back promotions for the first time in the club's history.

Although he found chances limited this season, playing only 25 games in League Two with 12 from the start as the Reds finished runners-up to champions Stockport County, the 31-year-old still donned the armband when he took to the pitch.

The longest serving player in the squad, Young never assumed he was guaranteed a spot in the team when he was made first-team captain by Parkinson ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

"I have been fortunate enough to be a regular starter throughout my career," said Young, who has also played for Plymouth Argyle.

"Certainly here, the amount of managers that have come and gone but I have still been that regular feature in the side up until this season.

"It is nice when you get recognised for who you are and what you are as a player and a person.

"No-one has any given right to play and that was my case as well, even when I got named captain.

"It was no free-ticket or no walk into the team, I had to work as hard as everybody else to get in the team and stay there.

"I never too anything for granted. The manager is the one that picks the team and more often than not I was in it which probably speaks a bit about what I am like as a player and a person."

As well as helping Wrexham clinch successive  promotions which began with the National League title following a record-breaking 2022-23 campaign, there was no shortage of personal recognition with Young picking up 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.

Although his time in north Wales has come to an end, Young says getting promoted was the best way to bow out and the players continued the celebrations on an all-expenses-paid lavish bash in Las Vegas, with Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney funding the trip for a second year in a row.

"It is never nice to leave and it is never nice to end, especially with the length of time I have been at Wrexham and the relationships that I have built up with not only staff but a lot of players in that dressing room in the six years," he added.

"I will certainly have friends for life who I will stay in touch with.

"It was nice to get promoted and then you go away with the lads and enjoy it one last time for myself.

"There is no better way of leaving a football club than getting promoted and enjoy it with them for the few days we were in Las Vegas."