HAVING a good dressing room and winning lots of matches means James McClean has loved life at The Racecourse.

The former Republic of Ireland international joined Wrexham in August from Wigan Athletic for an undisclosed fee and he played a key role in another successful season for the Reds.

McClean made 37 appearances in League Two and scored four goals in all competitions, helping Wrexham secure a top-three finish to make it back-to-back promotions for the first time in the club’s history.

Having also played for Stoke, West Brom and Sunderland, McClean has enjoyed a successful career and he will be part of Phil Parkinson’s plans going forward when Wrexham head into League One after having his contract automatically extended for the 2024-25 campaign.

The 35-year-old, who won 103 caps for his country, is enjoying his football as much as ever.

“I’m having a great time,” said McClean. “That comes from having a good dressing room.

“When you have a good dressing room, you look forward to coming into work. It really helps.

“The biggest thing in football is winning games, there is nothing more enjoyable.

“When you are winning games and you are happy, it’s a great place to be and long may it continue.”

Wrexham supporters have taken to McClean and the wing-back wants to continue to give fans something to shout about.

“Our fans are absolutely fantastic,” he said. “They travel in their numbers and they are vocal throughout.

“It makes a huge difference.

“I have played for clubs where fans have been vocal but not vocal in a good way, and it can be detrimental to the team.

“But our fans are fantastic and they back us through thick and thin.

“But it’s our job to give them something to be happy about and at the minute we are doing it.”

McClean has become a fans’ favourite at The Racecourse and although he comes in for stick from opposition supporters, it is something he enjoys and is not afraid to give it back.

“I’m the type of character that’s tit-for-tat,” said McClean. “If you want to abuse me you’ve got to take it back.

“It’s a bit of fun. When it comes to football banter then great.

“You will take that all day, it’s part and parcel of the game but obviously it’s a lot more enjoyable when it’s you winning and you are able to gloat!”

McClean called time on his international career this season and said at the time: “On February 20, 2012, I received my first call-up to represent my country. In all honesty, hand on heart, there are no words that could do justice to that feeling.

“Since then, 11 goals and two European Championships. Now, 11 years later, I have come to a point, one that truth be told you never think is going to come but here we are, where I am announcing my retirement from international football.

“I will celebrate pulling on the green jersey as a player and give me a chance to say goodbye to the best fans in the world.”

McClean is not the only former international in the Wrexham ranks.

Steven Fletcher was capped 33 times for Scotland, with the striker scoring 10 goals for the Tartan army.

The 37-year-old played for Hibernian, Burnley, Wolves. Sunderland, Marseille, Sheffield Wednesday and Stoke City before spending the 2022-23 season with Dundee United where he netted 10 times in 39 games.

After scoring eight goals for Wrexham in the promotion campaign, Fletcher has been offered a new contract by Parkinson.

Three of those goals came in one game when Fletcher netted a hat-trick in the 4-1 win against Barrow at The Racecourse on New Year’s Day, and the frontman says his move to Wrexham has been “a breath of fresh air”.

“It is surreal, brilliant,” said Fletcher, who made 33 league appearances this season, helping Wrexham finish runners-up behind champions Stockport County.

“At this stage in my career and the age I am at, it is like a breath of fresh air for me.

“The lads, the staff, the fans and what’s going on in the background, it is great.

“When I got the phone call it was a no brainer for me to take the opportunity, and hopefully I can repay it.”