NEIL ROBERTS admitted he couldn’t wait for the start of the new campaign so he can put the disappointment of the last one behind him.
Club captain Roberts spent a large part of the season watching from the sidelines after damaging his ankle in the home win over Swindon Town in early September.
And it was a frustrating time.
That 2-1 victory over the Robins was the start of Wrexham’s downfall, which eventually lead to Denis Smith’s sacking, Brian Carey taking over and a final day winner-take-all relegation battle with Boston United to ensure the Dragons continued their League status into another campaign.
But following the 3-1 win over the Pilgrims on the final day, Wrexham start the new campaign with a brighter hope and Roberts is pleased to see manager Carey already bringing in a host of new faces.
“Last season was a bit of a nightmare for me personally,” said Roberts. “But I am quite confident that if I can get a whole season under my belt then I can reach double figures.
“It is just a case of keeping myself fit. Last season I had quite a bad injury and I came back maybe 80% fit.
“Now I am hoping to rest over the summer, and then come back firing for next season.
“I’m the type of player that I have to be training and playing.
“I didn’t come back to Wrexham just to pick up a wage.
“What a lot of people don’t know is that I took a 50% pay cut when I left Doncaster to come back to here.”
So far Carey has brought in goalkeeper Anthony Williams and striker Michael Proctor – who both had successful stints on loan at the back end of last season – while Conall Murtagh, Richard Hope and Eifion Williams have also joined the Racecourse club.
And Carey earlier this week refused to rule out the possibility of one or two more players coming in before the start of the season.
Roberts added: “I think a lot of the new lads coming in have got a lot of individual sense about them and are definitely going to bring something to the club.
“I’ve played alongside Eifion in a Wales B international a few years ago and also with him being a Welsh lad you kind of follow his career a little bit more than normal.
“But he is also someone I’ve played against a number of times and is someone I’ve always been impressed with.
“Michael Proctor and Anthony Williams came in at the end of last season and helped us out of a huge hole.
“I think the boss was very impressed with both of them while they were here.
“But I’m sure that Richard Hope is going to be a massive player for us next season.
“He is experienced and solid at the back and I think he will bring what we have maybe been lacking a little bit.
“But if you look at the spine of the team now, from the goalkeeper, the centre-half and Danny Williams in midfield we have experience and a steel about them.
“And if you look at the lads up front as well – the likes of Eifion, Proctor, Chris Llewellyn, Lee McEvilly and myself – then we have got goals in the side, and that’s without Juan Ugarte if he can get himself fit.”
Ugarte burst on to the scene in his first season at the Racecourse scoring 22 goals in just half a campaign, before leaving to join Crewe.
After an unhappy spell at Gresty Road, Ugarte returned to Wrexham, where he has been plagued by injury and made only three appearances for Wrexham last season.
Roberts said: “I spoke to Juan just before we finished for the summer and he said he was confident of coming back fit and ready to go.
“You don’t find many out-and-out goalscorers at this level who will score you 25 in one season, because they have one great season and then get snapped up by someone else.
“But it’s not all about Juan – Llewellyn will score goals, as will Proctor, Eifion and McEvilly, and we are always going to create chances, we just to take more of them.”