BRIAN CAREY admitted he was confident of having a fully-fit Juan Ugarte back for the start of the coming campaign.
Ugarte made just three appearances for Wrexham last season – in the 2-0 win over Scunthorpe in the FA Cup, and at Torquay and Boston in the league – all three coming in December before injury ruled him out for the rest of the season.
But now just two months away from the start of a new campaign, Carey is hopeful of having the diminutive striker back and raring to go.
"Juan has said to me he is looking to be back and fit," said the Dragons boss. "The summer is a long time for players to rest up and get back to fitness and he has said he is confident of being fully fit.
"We’ve spoken to him a lot over the last few months and we know he is working very hard to get back to the form he was in when we won the LDV Vans Trophy."
Carey knows a goalscorer such as Ugarte is key for Wrexham’s hopes of success next season.
He added: "Players like Juan are very hard to come by and we have just got to keep our fingers crossed that he can come back and find the form from when he was first here."
Last season the Dragons hit the back of the net just 43 times in the league and that was part and parcel of why they were still fighting relegation on the final day of the season.
But while there is still some doubt over whether Ugarte will return to the form he first showed when he joined the Racecourse club – notching 22 goals in 29 appearances, Carey has been quick to bring in striking reinforcements.
Eifion Williams joined on a free transfer from Hartlepool last week, while fellow forward Michael Proctor has also been signed on a free transfer from ‘Pools. Proctor enjoyed a successful end of season in North Wales, scoring some crucial goals to help the Dragons avoid the drop.
And Carey still has the services of club captain Neil Roberts, Chris Llewellyn, Michael Carvill and Lee McEvilly at his disposal.
Meanwhile, Carey also admitted he was ardently still looking to bolster his squad ahead of the Dragons opening game of the season at Darlington on Saturday, August 11.
But was also quick to point out that he was still happy with the squad he had so far assembled.
"Things are very quiet at the moment," said the Dragons supermo. "Not just here but at a lot of clubs, because people are still away on holiday.
"But we’ve done a fair bit of work in the last few weeks and we are very happy with the players that have come in and the one’s that we already have here.
"We are always looking to strengthen the squad though, but only if the right players come along."
One area many fans expect Carey to add to in the build up to the new season is the midfield. He has already brought in youngster Conall Murtagh from Welsh Premier outfit Rhyl, but there could still be some more movement in the coming two months.
"We are always looking to bring in players," insisted Carey. "But only if the right player comes along. There’s no point in signing someone if it is not the right player for the club.
"We have been working hard to identify the kind of player we want and we are working hard to find the player that fills that. We know what we are looking for and we are working hard to get that."
But even if no further acquisitions are made before the big August kick-off, Carey was still confident the club was moving in the right direction.
He said: "We are really positive with the way things are going here. The last four or five games of last season we hit a good patch and in that way we didn’t want the season to end.
"We are reasonably pleased with what we’ve got, but we know we are always looking to improve and move the whole club forward."