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[August 09, 2014]
Position by position: is Wrexham's squad good enough to clinch promotion? [Daily Post (Liverpool, England)]
(Daily Post (Liverpool, England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) FOR the rst time Wrexham have a "non-league club feel", and that's no bad thing.
e Dragons have always looked up for their summer recruitment drives bringing in ex-league players who are surprised by the Conference.
Gone are those days.
Whether it's a tightening of belts or a keen eye for up-and- coming talent, Kevin Wilkin's rst four signings all excelled in the Conference last term.
e simple question is, are the Dragons stronger than the start of last season. Let's look at it department by departmentfi GOALKEEPERS THE Dragons have decided to go with two youngsters in the most vital of positions.
is is not unheard of.
We've all seen young keepers on loan at so-called lesser clubs like Tamworth and Alfreton come to the Racecourse and excel.
But they are one-o games and it's easy to come to a place like the Racecourse and do well. e real test is when you're away from home with crosses and set-plays raining down on you. And you must do this again, and again and again.
Andy Coughlin started well when he took over from Joslain Mayebi, but eventually the league ground him down.
He may well come back stronger this year and Danny Bachmann may have enough natural talent to carry him through this tough league.
But for me this is one of Wilkin's big gambles. VERDICT: No DEFENDERS THE key to such a poor campaign last term was down to not having a settled back four.
ere was no recognised right-back and the Dragons went through around 10 centre-back partnerships in the first 11 games.
Wilkin has brought in two centre-backs in Manny Smith and Blaine Hudson to be his first-choices. One will organise, the other will head everything away.
But he'll have to hope they stay free from injury and suspension because after those two, he just has young lads to call on.
It's the same story in the full-back positions. I still feel Mark Carrington should be employed in midfield, but rather than last season when he was thrust into the right-back role, this term he knows his role and will be more adapted to it.
He'll have to be, he doesn't have a real understudy and it's the same at left-back where even the most ardent of Neil Ashton fans will have to say he didn't have the best of campaigns last term.
On his day he's the best in the division, but again there is little competition for his place, especially with Johnny Hunt moving on.
e first choice four looks stronger than the start of last term, but after thatfi VERDICT: Same MIDFIELD FOR so long it's been Wrexham's strength. Wilkin has managed to keep the nucleus of last term's midfield together, but Dean Keates is a year older and already struggling with injury.
Wilkin will have to hope highly-rated youngster Rob Evans will have the E breakthrough season he threatened last term.
I think he'll go with two in the middle and at the moment Joe Clarke and Jay Harris pick themselves. ey will be asked to keep things tight and give the front players the platform to play.
VERDICT: Same ATTACK THIS is where the largest investment has been, and my word did the squad need it.
Wilkin said from the o that Wrexham needed more pace. He's brought the raw eo Bailey-Jones back into the fold as well as picking up Louis Moult, Connor Jennings and the man who could be the trump card, Wes York.
None of that quartet are slouches and I think Wrexham will look to utilise pace on the counter this term while staying solid at the back.
Jennings and Moult were two of the most dangerous frontmen in the league last term but from what I've seen of York in pre-season he looks a real find. Not only does he have pace but he seems to have an end product. is is York's big chance to make it in the professional ranks, I just hope he takes it because he could be key, VERDICT: Yes, yes, yes.
THE MANAGER I HAVE nothing but respect for Andy Morrell, who was a gent until the last. But while he was thrust into the role, Wilkin has been practising for this chance for the past decade. His signings have shown he can sell the club to players and he knows the league inside out. VERDICT: Yes OVERALL THE key players must stay injury-free and gel quickly. With added repower and a boss who'll be worth extra points then I can see a play-o" push with a fourth- place nish.
Finally Wrexham have players and a boss who knows the league... they've always had the fan base and youth system that sets them apart from it. Put them both together and we're all hoping it's a recipe for success.
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