YOUNG Wrexham midfielder Levi Mackin has volunteered for reserve team duty this evening in the hope of boosting his League Two and international prospects in the week ahead.
Still only 19, he will be one of the more experienced members of Joey Jones' line-up in action against Burnley and is anxious for as much match action as possible to make up for a long lay-off caused by injury.
Mackin damaged knee ligaments in his first senior outing of the campaign last October and spent the best part of three months on the sidelines before rejoining the senior squad at the end of January.
And a hard-working performance for 70 minutes during Wrexham's recent 2-0 victory against Wycombe Wanderers was enough for Wales intermediate boss Brian Flynn to call Mackin into the under-21 squad for next week's international friendly match with Northern Ireland.
Now the Chester-born youngster is hoping to win his first cap at Llanelli's Stebonheath Park on Tuesday evening.
"I was called up as a late replacement for the under-21s when they went to Poland last year, but I didn't get a game," he said. "This time round, looking at the young players involved, I'll be one of the senior lads so hopefully I'll get my chance on Tuesday.
"That's why I told (assistant manager) Kevin Russell I wanted to play in the reserves against Burnley because, although I'm fully fit, I'm a bit short of match practice at the moment.
"No matter how much training you do, it's in match situations that you get your touch back and improve on match fitness. And I need to be sharp and on top of my game if I'm going to play for Wales next week and hopefully have a run in the first team here."
Mackin added: "When Brian Flynn was manager of Wrexham I was only a schoolboy, but on his frequent visits here since he took up his new job, he always makes a point of talking to all the Welsh lads.
"So I've always felt he was keeping an eye on my progress and I'm looking forward to next week."
With several senior players still injured, Racecourse boss Denis Smith has decided against including the likes of Dave Bayliss and Alex Smith this evening, although replacement goalkeeper Michael Jones will start alongside Mackin.
"Mike is unfortunate that he he doesn't get as much match practice as other players his age," said the Dragons boss..
"When the kids are playing, he's on the bench for the first team and there aren't as many reserve team games as I would like.
"The same applies to all our substitutes last Saturday, because Levi was the only professional there.
"The others are all YTS kids and they will benefit from having a full game."