Login Register

Fanscene by Peter Davies

Wrexham play Colwyn Bay on Tuesday in their first close-season friendly.

Wrexham play Colwyn Bay on Tuesday in their first close-season friendly.

They then travel to the Isle of Man for the annual football festival, and follow this with fixtures against Witton Albion, TNS, Everton and Steaua Bucharest before the league season starts on 10 August.

It has been a summer of comings and goings at the Racecourse, and over the next few weeks Denis Smith will have plenty of opportunity to experiment with players and tactics. The manager's squad may be smaller than he would like, but he still has plenty of options.

IN GOAL: I like the idea of competition between an experienced keeper (Dibble) and a promising youngster (Rogers), rather than last season's scenario of two rather unconvincing rookies - Rogers and Walsh - fighting it out for the jersey.

New man Dibble will begin as first-choice stopper, even though he will be suspended for the start of the season. This will give Rogers - who had a curate's egg of a year last time around - an early chance to prove his doubters wrong.

DEFENCE: As usual, Smith will have to perm two from three in the centre of defence. Lawrence, Roberts and Carey all have their qualities and, injuries and suspensions notwithstanding, it should be an interesting tussle to see who starts at Scunthorpe on the opening day of 2002-3. Carey is losing his pace, but has retained the captain's armband - which, to me, doesn't really make sense.

At full-back, it will be Whitley on the right and Holmes on the left - with utility man Bennett in contention too. On certain occasions, there is also the possibility that Smith could opt for attacking wing-backs in the shape of the two Edwardses - Carlos on the right and Paul on the left.

MIDFIELD: Last season Smith favoured a bit of experience (Ferguson) and a bit of youth (Thomas). He's got no option but to go with this pair again, with Barrett and/or Phillips to supply the leg work.

I'm not very keen on the idea of Sam or Trundle playing on the flanks, so if the manager wants wingers I hope he'll go with genuine wide men in Edwards and Edwards.

UPFRONT: Here there are some very exciting possibilities. I expect the two Lees to be paired together from the off. Jones has astonishing speed and Trundle explosive skill - I think in combination they could be a real handful for opposing defences.

The great thing is that the manager also has interesting options in reserve. Morrell did some very good things in the latter stages of 2001-2 and, after two up and down years, Sam has got to start performing on a regular basis - otherwise, he may not win another Racecourse contract.

Like many other Reds fans, I think the unsung Morrell could well be a key player this season. He is a thoughtful, shrewd player whose contribution to the side is better measured in assists rather than goals scored. As such, I like the idea of him playing in the "box" behind the front two in a Teddy Sheringham kind of way. In my opinion, this could be the making of him.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
Contact Us
Full contact details