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Wrexham Manager Dean Keates Releases 11 Players . . . And Five More Leave

By Terry Phillips

Dean Keates has launched a major overhaul of his Wrexham squad for 2020-21 with 11 players released by the Vanarama National League club.

Another five players have left the Racecourse ground after their loan spells ended.

The Dragons have seven players under contract through next season, while Keates is preparing to open talks with five others.

Former Cardiff City defender Jazzi Barnum-Bobb is among those released, along with Jake Lawlor, Akil Wright, Luke Summerfield, Jason Oswell, Doug Tharme, Leighton McIntosh, JJ Hooper, Matthew Sargent, Jack Thorn and goalkeeper Dawid Szczepaniak.

Manchester-born James Jennings is among those who will have talks about agreeing a new contract. The 32-year-old former Cheltenham Town and Forest Green Rovers full-back has not played since injuring a knee during the goalless draw at home to Dagenham & Redbridge back in February.

Jennings has been continuing his rehab at home and said: “Phil [Davies, Wrexham physio] gave me a programme to do from home in order to strengthen my knee.

“He has been Face-timing all the injured lads to make sure we are keeping on top of it all.

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“It’s difficult for Phil as he would prefer to be able to physically check on how our injuries are getting on, but I have to say he has been brilliant for all the injured lads and kept us all on schedule in our return back to full fitness.”

James joined Wrexham on loan from Morecambe in January 2017 before signing a full contract over the summer and he has made 130 appearances. 

Wrexham remain hopeful lockdown restrictions will be lifted over the coming weeks and the club are in regular contact with the National League and Government officials to highlight the importance of returning to playing football.

A club statement on the player decisions said: “This is slightly different from the traditional retained list in that the club is not yet in a position to offer new contracts.

“Wrexham AFC would like to place on record its thanks to the players who are leaving us for their efforts and commitment during their time at the Racecourse, and for their sacrifice during the furlough period. We wish them well for their future careers.”

Wrexham FC

The following players are contracted for 2020-21 (7): Shaun Pearson, Luke Young, Bobby Grant, Rob Lainton, Devonte Redmond, Jay Harris, Daniel Jarvis

Players who we would open discussions with when we have certainty on Football returning (5): James Jennings, Mark Carrington, Paul Rutherford, Davis Keillor-Dunn, Christian Dibble

Players to be released (11): Jake Lawlor, Akil Wright, Luke Summerfield, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, Jason Oswell, Doug Tharme, Leighton McIntosh, JJ Hooper, Matthew Sargent, Jack Thorn, Dawid Szczepaniak

The following players’ loan spells at Wrexham AFC have ended (5): Kieran Kennedy, Jordan Ponticelli, Jordon Thompson, Kyle Barker, Tyler Garratt.

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