WREXHAM have agreed loan deals for experienced Port Vale defender Richard Walker and goalkeeper Anthony Williams, from Carlisle United, to help cope with a player shortage ahead of Saturday’s visit to Bristol Rovers.
The Dragons are without six key members of their squad for the Memorial Ground clash and manager Brian Carey said the pair’s arrival was a timely boost on transfer deadline day.
Walker, 26, is a veteran of more than 100 league matches with Crewe Alexandra and Vale, where his first-team chances have been somewhat limited this season.
The Racecourse boss said: “He’s the sort of player we need at the moment and hopefully he will be with us until the end of the season.
“Anthony Williams, who is a former Wales under-21 international, is also coming in tomorrow. He’s really keen to join us and we are pleased to have him aboard to cover for the injury to Mike Ingham.
“We have a hectic spell of games in April and we need to make sure we have enough players to see us through.”
Ingham apart, Carey has also lost the services of Steve Evans, Chris Llewellyn, Ryan Valentine and Lee Roche to suspension, while Stoke City midfielder Robbie Garrett has been called up by Northern Ireland U21s for a friendly in Romania this weekend.
Ironically the Belfast-born teenager was a late addition to the squad after Wrexham released him and team-mate Michael Carvill for two U20 friendlies last week.
“We were asked to help Northern Ireland out for two games against Israel last week and we were happy to do so,” said Carey.
“On the back of his performances for us and against Israel, Robbie was promoted to the under-21s and, although it’s only a friendly we didn’t have much of a say in it.
“Robbie is still a Stoke City player, so it was not really up to us, and to be fair to the lad it’s a great opportunity for him and he wanted to go.
“He had been out in the cold as far as the U21s were concerned, but they were hammered 4-0 in their last game against Wales, so they’ve obviously decided he was needed, which is a shame because we could have done with him playing for us on Saturday.”
But the Racecourse boss is determined not to use his enforced absences as an excuse, adding: “We are still feeling very positive and we are pleased with the overall performances in our last three games.
“We thought we had turned the corner with the win at Barnet, but we were kicked in the teeth by the sendings-off against Bury and MK Dons.”
The manager added: “Nevertheless the spirit and effort which is being put in by the players has made a difference and we expect to see that continue at Bristol Rovers on Saturday.”