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Whitley poised for quick Wrexham bow

VERSATILE Jim Whitley is poised to join Wrexham in time to make his bow in tonight's friendly against Blackburn at the Racecourse.

VERSATILE Jim Whitley is poised to join Wrexham in time to make his bow in tonight's friendly against Premiership Blackburn at the Racecourse.

The 26-year-old has agreed a two-year contract after being released by Manchester City.

It will be a homecoming for Whitley, born in Zambia but brought up in Wrexham.

"It's good to be back," he said last night. "I didn't have a great last season at Maine Road and I am grateful to Wrexham and Brian Flynn for giving me the opportunity to play first-team football."

Manager Flynn is pleased to complete the deal so smoothly.

"Player moves don't usually happen that quickly but obviously Jim wanted to get his future sorted out," he said.

Whitley was given inside information about the club by his younger brother Jeff, who had a successful loan spell at the Racecourse several seasons ago.

Keeper David Walsh will play his first pre-season game tonight, having recovered from the ankle injury that kept him out of the annual Isle of Man tournament won by Wrexham for a record fourth time.

The Wales Under 21 international will provide competition for Kristian Rogers, who has been showing impressive pre-season form.

"In the four Isle of Man matches, Kristian kept three clean sheets and did very well," said Flynn.

"His game has improved, particularly his kicking."

Fit-again Paul Barrett, Robin Gibson and Steve Roberts will figure in tonight's game against a Blackburn side including Welsh international striker Nathan Blake and his Wales manager, Mark Hughes.

Meanwhile, Manchester United have confirmed that Ryan Giggs will play at the Racecourse in Saturday's testimonial for Flynn and his assistant Kevin Reeves.

The Wales wonder winger, who leads out the Premiership champions for his own testimonial against Celtic at Old Trafford tonight, captained United in last August's testimonial for long-serving Wrexham favourite Gareth Owen.

Sir Alex Ferguson has named Dwight Yorke, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Andy Cole, Nicky Butt, Wes Brown, Ronny Johnsen and Mickael Silvestre in his squad to face Wrexham.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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