WREXHAM have filled one of their two available squad places by snapping up veteran utility man Paul Warhurst.
The player, who is 36 next month, signed non-contract forms with the Dragons yesterday and counts as one of the 20 first-team professionals the club are allowed while in administration.
Warhurst, who has been training with Wrexham for the past 10 days, revealed that he was delighted to be returning to the Football League and said: "Denis Smith has given me an opportunity and I'm relishing the challenge.
"This is a League One club as far as I'm concerned and I want to play my part in helping them to get back there.
"Although I spent most of last season at Blackpool, I finished the year in the Conference with Forest Green. Really I just wanted to keep my fitness levels up and get a few games under my belt."
Warhurst, who won the Premiership title with Blackburn Rovers a decade ago, was waiting to see whether Dragons boss Smith would offer him a deal as he mulled over his options.
He added: "I really like the place, the facilities are great and the lads have been fine. I watched the opening game of the season against Boston and was really impressed with the display. I think we're getting things right on the pitch and hopefully the off-the-field matters will soon be sorted too."
The decision to snap up Warhurst means that Wrexham can now add only one more player to their squad until the current financial restrictions are lifted. It was not a move their manager took lightly.
Smith said: "It was a massive call and it is still playing on my mind but with the size of squad we've got, someone with Paul's versatility is very useful.
"We've lost Dave Bayliss to injury and Dennis Lawrence will be in the USA until Friday so we're a bit short of numbers in the defensive department."
Smith also believes that the sense of camaraderie at the Racecourse has encouraged Warhurst to choose them, adding: "There's always going to be competition for players but Paul needed no persuading in signing. He was only ever interested in us.
"Perhaps financially he could have got a better offer elsewhere but nobody else would have looked after him like we will. "He's fitted in very well and he strikes me as a good professional who has looked after himself. He also brings a wealth of experience with him."
Warhurst is expected to appear in Wrexham's reserve-team encounter against Rochdale tonight.
PAUL WARHURST FACTFILE
Born: Stockport, 26/9/1969. Height: 6ft Weight: 13st
* Started with Manchester City but joined Oldham Athletic in 1988 and was part of the side that reached the League Cup final and FA Cup semi-final in 1990.
* Joined Sheffield Wednesday for £750,000 in 1991 where he was converted into a centre-forward.
* Was called-up for the England squad to face Turkey in March 1993 but was injured and never won a cap.
* Played in both the FA Cup and League Cup finals for the Owls in 1993 but lost both to Arsenal.
* Signed for big-spending Blackburn Rovers in October 1993 in a £2.7m deal.
* Won the Premiership title with Rovers in 1995 but injury problems were already starting to dog him.
* Restored to fitness at Crystal Palace between 1997-99 but returned to his native North West of England with Bolton.
* Has since had short spells with Stoke City, Chesterfield, Barnsley, Carlisle, Grimsby, Blackpool and Forest Green.