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Wrexham have played only nine games this season, but even so, the key men

Wrexham have played only nine games this season, but even so, the key men are beginning to emerge. For me, there are two star performers so far. They operate at different ends of the pitch, but they're both called Andy.

Up front, it is the unsung Morrell who is now the vital figure. Even before this week's amazing five-goal burst - which, incidentally, has made him the top marksman across both the English and Scottish leagues - he was leading the line effectively and showing great all-round qualities.

In recent years, the Doncaster-born player has scored lots of goals against League of Wales sides and also forged a reputation as an excellent team player - which made many fans believe that he would do very well in the third division. And so it has proved.

Since he arrived at the Racecourse in 1998, Morrell has started 39 league games and come on as substitute in 33, which gives a fair indication of how he has generally been viewed by the Racecourse management. Smith, however, seems to be a bigger fan of the 27-year-old than Flynn was. The player's workrate is excellent, he creates goals, and now he's actually scoring them.

Hence his nine consecutive starts in 2002-3.

Even when Lee Jones is fit and Trundle is playing well, I like the idea of Morrell staying in the side and playing in the "box" behind the front two.

And the Reds no.11 has a big fan in TV presenter Rob McCaffrey. In a recent interview, the host of "You're on Sky Sports" said: "I knew Andy when he was working in a gym in Leeds, before he became a footballer. It takes time to settle into the professional game, but I think he's doing it now. I know he'll score goals if he gets the service." Prophetic words.

At the back, it is new man Dibble who is impressing everyone. Granted, he had a poor game against Rochdale, when the Reds suffered a disastrous 5-2 hammering, but for the rest of the time, he has been in tip-top form.

Some fans chuckled when manager Smith raided Stockport - the only team in the league to concede more goals than Wrexham last year - for a shot-stopper, but on the evidence so far, it was a pretty shrewd move.

I like the way Dibble stands tall and throws his weight around in the Wrexham penalty box. I feel slightly sorry for the displaced Rogers, but there is no substitute for experience, especially in the green jersey. The ex-Manchester City keeper is developing a good rapport with the Racecourse faithful, and on current form, I would not be surprised to see him sign a contract extension at the end of the year - promotion or not.

I would also suggest that the ex-Welsh international is one of the loudest shouters in the lower divisions. I don't think he's quite in the Schmeichel league yet, but it is commonplace for supporters standing on the Kop to hear Dibble's loud South Walian accent - even when he is defending the goal at the other end of the ground!


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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