Wrexham's number one. Goalkeeper Rob Lainton. Pic: Getty Images.

Former Bluebird Michael Links Up Again With Dragons

Former Cardiff City goalkeeper Michael Oakes has returned to Wrexham FC as goalkeeping coach.

The former Aston Villa, Wolves and Bluebirds goalkeeper, aged 45, was most recently coaching at Walsall and returns to the club in time for pre-season training with our shot-stoppers Rob Lainton and Christian Dibble.

Also joining Wrexham’s backroom staff is sports scientist Nick Barnett, who replaced Alun Andrews in the role. Nick was previously with the Dragons during the 2017-18 season before moving to Walsall.

Manager Bryan Hughes said: “I’m delighted to welcome both Michael and Nick back to the club. Both have worked here before so they will be able to slot straight back in and get straight to work.

“Michael’s career speaks for itself. He has fantastic experience both as a player and as a coach.”

Michael Oakes in action for Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Goalkeeper Michael Oakes of Aston Villa in a Premier League match. Pic: Getty Images.

Hughes also revealed why Alun Andrews is leaving the club, saying: “Alun is a highly professional sports scientist and we are sorry to see him leave. He has decided to move closer to his family in South Wales and we wish him all the best.

“The sports science department is really important. It helps us monitor the players workload by making catered training programmes for players and reduces the impact long term injuries can have on a season.

“After speaking to the club’s staff I decided that Nick Barnett was by far the best candidate to replace Alun and I am really looking forward to working closely with him.”

Brian Flynn is expected to continue in the role of assistant manager to Hughes at the National League club.

Oakes is starting a third spell with Wrexham, having coached there from 2008-15 and 2017-18.

The former England under-21 ‘keeper made more than 250 League appearances during a 16-year professional career. He played in 15 games for Cardiff in 2007-08 during a season when Peter Enckelman, David Forde, Kasper Schmeichel and Ross Turnbull were also with the club.

After retiring in 2008, Oakes took up a coaching position at Wrexham AFC where he stayed until 2015 before returning for a second spell during 2017-18.

Barnett first joined the club in 2011 on a placement and impressed enough to eventually become Wrexham  head of physical performance’ in July 2017.

Hughes has confirmed that Shaun Pearson will remain club captain for 2019-20 with Mark Carrington vice-captain.

JJ Hooper will wear number 30 in the coming season, while other new signings Leighton McIntosh and Devonte Redmond will wear numbers 35 and 10 respectively.

Rob Lainton switches from number 18 over to number one, while Christian Dibble will wear the number 21 shirt.

Also moving numbers is Bobby Grant, who switches from number 32 to number 11 and Jake Lawlor, from 30 to number 6.

Numbers 2, 15-19, 23, 26-29, 31-34 have not been allocated so far.

Wrexham manager Bryan Hughes.

Wrexham AFC’s first team squad numbers for the 2019-20 season:

1 Rob Lainton

3 James Jennings

4 Manny Smith

5 Shaun Pearson

6 Jake Lawlor

7 Luke Summerfield

8 Luke Young

9 Mike Fondop

10 Devonte Redmond

11 Bobby Grant

12 Jason Oswell

13 Mark Carrington

14 Paul Rutherford

20 Akil Wright

21 Christian Dibble

22 Matthew Sargent

24 Doug Tharme

25 Jack Thorn

30 JJ Hooper

35 Leighton McIntosh

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