JJ Hooper, a striker who fired 19 goals in 25 Vanarama National League appearances last season, has signed for Wrexham.
London-born Hooper, signed by Russell Slade when the former Cardiff City manager was in charge at Grimsby Town, has agreed a one-year contract at the Racecourse.
“Wrexham is a massive club and shouldn’t be in the position that it is in,” says JJ, whose first names are Jonathan James. “There is a big fanbase and I can’t wait to show what I can do for the fans.
“There was Football League interest in me, but after speaking to the gaffer and knowing the size of this club, I know Wrexham was the right place for me.
“Hopefully I can be that guy that helps the team. I can’t wait to put the shirt on and get some goals.
“”The gaffer (Bryan Hughes) didn’t really need to sell the club to me.
“I appreciate my time at Grimsby and everything they did for me, but now I am just focused on Wrexham and helping them try and get back into the Football League.
“Everything about Wrexham appealed to me.”
Hooper, spent the second half of last season on loan at Bromley where he fired 19 National League goals.
He caught the eye of Newcastle United while playing for Cray Wanderers early in his career, signing a two-year scholarship with the Magpies in 2011 and the following day scored a hat-trick against Chelsea Under-18’s.
After several loan spells away from St. James’ Park Hooper joined Northampton Town during the summer of 2013, but it was with Havant & Waterlooville in 2014 where he started to hit form.
He scored 13 goals in 37 appearances for the Hawks, earning a move to League Two with Port Vale. After a brief loan back to Northampton he joined Grimsby Town in 2017.
The 6ft 1in Hooper has pace and is technically excellent when it comes to finishing, while he links up with midfield player Luke Summerfield again.
They played together at Grimsby and Hooper says: “We had a little chat and he just had positive words to say about the club.”
Hooper, an Arsenal fan who is from Greenwich in London, had trials at Scottish clubs Dunfermline Athletic, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Raith Rovers during 2015 before joining Port Vale on a two-year contract.
Wrexham have arranged a number of pre-season matches. They take on Cefn Druids, Fleetwood Town, Telford United, Stoke City, Curzon Ashton and Crewe Alexandra.
Saturday 29 v Cefn Druids (away at the Rock, 3pm)
Friday 5 v Fleetwood Town (home at the Racecourse, 7.30pm)
Tuesday 9 v Portimonense SC at Estádio Municipal de Portimão (7pm)
Saturday 13 v Telford United (away at New Bucks Head, 3pm)
Wednesday 17 v Stoke City (home at the Racecourse, 7pm)
Saturday 20 v Curzon Ashton (away at Tameside Stadium, 3pm)
Wrexham squad news:
Players contracted for the 2019-20 season:
Christian Dibble (gk)
Bobby Grant (Player exercised option)
Player to have rejected new contract
Kieran Kennedy (set to join Port Vale)
Players who have accepted a new deal:
Players who were on loan have returned to parent clubs:
Invited back for pre-season training: