AARON JAMES has committed his future to Wrexham and Phil Parkinson is looking forward to seeing the young defender continue his development next season.

The 18-year-old, who came through the youth ranks at The Racecourse, has signed a new one-year contract.

Having made his senior debut as a substitute for the Reds in an FA Trophy fourth round tie at Altrincham in January 2023, James was given more opportunities with the first-team last term.

James, a centre-half who has also played wing-back, was selected for the pre-season tour to America 12 months ago and he made his first competitive appearance of the campaign when he came off the bench in the 3-0 EFL Trophy group-stage win at Crewe Alexandra in October.

Just four days later, James was handed his EFL debut in the 3-2 win against Salford City at The Racecourse and he went onto make another League Two start in the 2-1 victory over Sutton as well as two more run-outs in the EFL Trophy.

With five appearances in the first-team under his belt in 2023-24, Parkinson is hoping James can keep progressing when he returns for pre-season training with his more established team-mates.

“It was Aaron’s first year of full-time training last year and he got some game-time at first-team level,” said the Reds’ boss.

“He played a couple of league games for the first-team last season and did well.

“Obviously Aaron is a good young player and he’s got potential.

“He is a very intelligent lad and he takes that intelligence onto the football pitch with him.

“He is going to come and do pre-season with us. I am looking forward to having another good pre-season with him and continue his integration with the first-team group so we will see how he gets on.”

Clubs in League One are limited to a 22-man squad, although that number does not include goalkeepers or players who were under the age of 21 at the start of the calendar year.

James, who celebrates his 19th birthday on June 30, would not take up a spot in the Reds’ squad due to his age and Parkinson said there is the possibility he could go out on loan for more experience next season.

“We will have a good look at that in pre-season and see whether a loan for Aaron becomes an option,” he added.