RYAN BARNETT admits no-one would have believed that he would end up winning the Goal of the Season award after going so long without scoring.

The wing-back joined Wrexham in February 2023 from Solihull Moors and he played the final 12 games of the campaign as Phil Parkinson's men clinched the National League title.

But a first Reds' goal eluded him and that was a also case in League Two this season as Barnett was again a regular despite having a spell out of the side through injury.

However Barnett ended 2023-24 with a flurry, opening his Wrexham account in the 4-1 win over Crawley Town on April 9 before scoring again in the next game four days later when the Reds thrashed Forest Green Rovers 6-0 at The Racecourse to clinch promotion.

That brilliant volley from James McClean's cross earned Barnett the top goal gong, something which he says seemed unlikely as the months wore on.

"It was a really good feeling to win the award," said Barnett. "Halfway though the season, I don't think anyone would have predicted that Ryan Barnett would win Goal of the Season!

"But I hit the two-game run where I got two goals. It was something I was working on all season.

"Previously in my career I'd been a more attacking right-sided player; in this team you have got to do your defensive duties which is probably a bit more than I have in the past in my career.

"We'd worked all season on the wing-backs getting in at the back post and if you look at the two goals that I finally got, they were in at the back post.

"It was something the gaffer was onto me all season about trying to do and I had a few of chances a couple of weeks before then.

"I would back myself to score ones like that and I was quite frustrated with myself, but luckily the two went in at the end."

Barnett knew he'd found the net when he connected with McClean's delivery.

"It was a good feeling when if left my foot," he said.

"It was one of those where you hit it and you knew it was going straight in so it was good."

Wrexham knew promotion would be secured if beat Forest Green, and MK Dons and Barrow failed to win against Mansfield and Gillingham respectively.

The Reds took care of their own business, building up a four-nil lead at the break before Barnett made it 5-0 and Jack Marriott completed the scoring, and results elsewhere were favourable to complete a memorable day.

"That goal was on the day we got promoted and even though it was already quite a heavy scoreline, it was still nice to get it in that game," said Barnett.

"It was a really good day. All the fixtures that we needed to go for us went for us, we just had to worry about ourselves and win that game, and we did it comfortably."

Victory was all the more sweeter as Barnett was released by Forest Green manager Steve Cotterill in May 2021 when the duo were at Shrewsbury Town. 

"On a personal note, it was against the manager that released me," he added.

"I have got a lot of respect for him but he released me and we got got promoted against them."