JASON OSWELL admits it was vital to bag his first Wrexham goal at the end of last season so that the striker can look forward to te new National League campaign with renewed confidence.

The26-year-old joined the Reds from Morecambe in January and finally got off the mark in the 2-1 victory over Harrogate Town on the final day of the regular season.

Wrexham went on to lose their play-off eliminator tie against Eastleigh and although Oswell was disappointed the promotion challenge came to an end, he is pleased not to be still looking for his first goal and wants to build on that strike.

"It was important to get that goal," said Oswell.

"As a striker, if I hadn't got that goal late on in the season then it would have been playing on my mind over pre-season.

"It is great to get that out of the way now and I can just push on and look forward."

Oswell and his team-mates have returned from Portugal where Wrexham held a training camp on the Algarve for a third year in a row.

Five summer signings - Leighton McIntosh, Devonte Redmond, JJ Hooper, Mark Harris and Adam Barton - were among the Wrexham party and Oswell admits it is a nice feeling that he is no longer regarded as a new player.

"It is nice not to be the new boy as it were," said Oswell.

"It was nice coming in for pre-season and knowing that I had already got friendships built, and things like that.

"I see the last six months as a bit of a transitional period and I am looking to hit the ground running now.

"I am not the new boy anymore so I know how a lot of the lads play and I am incorporating the new lads into that so for me, it is going to be a massive season and I am looking forward to it."

Oswell feels the trip to Portugal will not only help the new signings settle in but will benefit Wrexham throughout the course of the 2019-20 season.

"It was nice being in Portugal," said Oswell. "Nice weather and it was good being amongst the lads for team-bonding.

"A trip like this is not something I have done before but I think it is massive.

"There is no better way to do team-bonding, getting all the staff and players together, and the fans as well, to get that

camaraderie and the big team effort.

"It is going to be massive going into the season and I think the foundations that you build in Portugal will play a big part in what we are preparing to do for the rest of the season."

Wrexham are preparing for a 12th campaign in non-league which will begin with a clash against Barrow at The Racecourse on August 3.

The Reds have challenged for promotion following the previous two trips to Portugal and Oswell hopes it is a case of third time lucky in 2019-20.

"This is the third year running and I believe every trip to Portugal has been brilliant," said Oswell.

"They have done well in the season after it but it has not done good enough.

"Hopefully this season it will be the time that it is going to be good enough."

Oswell, who missed the opening two pre-season friendlies as he was still recovering from groin surgery, made his first appearance in Tuesday's clash with Portimonense SC, who play in the Portuguese top flight.

Hundreds of Wrexham fans headed to the Algarve to see their side in action and Oswell, who played the first half, says that shows just how big a club he is playing for.

"This club needs to be in the league," added Oswell.

"It is a massive club as you see from the amount of fans who came over to Portugal.

"You won't get that at any other Conference club.

"We need to get back up and hopefully this year is going to be the year."

Manager Bryan Hughes is delighted to see Oswell back.

"He has been working all week, he has come through the training regimes really well, his loads are good, and now it is about introducing him into minutes," said Hughes.

"He worked hard in the first 45 minutes and that will do him the world of good."