We’ve had several calls to vote for the ‘Player of the Season’ recently. I’d say it isn’t a footballer who can claim to be the biggest ‘player’ in Wrexham’s ongoing success as a community based football club. If these votes were broadened to cover all contributors to the cause, who would get your vote? Here’s a few you need to consider.
The Wrexhamfan website gets 10,016 visits per month. I’m assuming Mark Griffiths’ sixteen relatives have stayed loyal since I started providing articles, so a vote in that direction would come from those willing to reward exciting new writing, that has undoubtedly kept spirits up in a season of gloom.
If you’re not persuaded, how about Don Bircham. He really has been the ‘comeback kid’ this season. Fans picked up on two statements early on, and labelled him the bad guy. In my eyes the criticism he got for claiming Andy Morrell had been given a ‘war chest’ to spend was unfounded. Morrell had been given a budget, and all managers want more. To argue that Bircham was bragging about mythical funding was highly unfair, and smacked more of the general anger at team performances. A little more unwise was his comment about Forest Green Rovers being a ‘village team’. My view is that FGR are a fantastic source of some of the best players (Andy Mangan?) in the Conference . Rubbing their decision makers up the wrong way is pretty risky. From this inauspicious start he has overseen a universally hailed recruitment process for our new manager, and steered the club to a position where we’re all looking forward to the new season. That is pretty amazing considering we’re sitting in a miserable league position.
Next up is Carl Hogan. Communications from the club on football matters are outstanding. This season the step up in that quality really has been noteworthy. Did you know that some of the media presentation methods used by our club have been copied by other clubs? There is a maestro behind this, and that is Mr Hogan. I had the honour of briefly meeting him at a recent home game. He was casually directing media operations, filming coverage of the game, and giving me his opinion on the match all at the same time. I enjoy his wise words as a summariser for the Wrexham Player commentary and the Podcasts, he’s a great contributor to the club and I sincerely hope the club works hard to keep him out of the clutches of bigger media users.
I can’t avoid mention of Steve Cook, our Commercial Manager. Like Carl Hogan I really dread him leaving for bigger things. I’m not clear how much money he’s added to the coffers, or how many commercial relationships he’s either rescued or established since the previous shambles turned businesses off the club (Remember Greene King?), but the man is working wonders. You only have to read transcripts of his question and answer sessions with fans to see how hard he is working. If I’m honest I think the best hope for Steve Cook is that he can pass on some of his magic to others at the club. He’s premiership quality, no doubt.
And what of the ‘Squirrel from the Wirral’? Well if you don’t know who he is then you’re not following the club very closely. Suffice to say, little children look forward to seeing Wrex the Dragon come out and wave to the them, their hearts lift at the sight of their hero. I’m a little older, but my heart lifts in the same way when the be-suited ‘squirrel’ walks pitch-side past my perch behind the goal. He’s always so deep in thought about our club that there’s an audible buzz when he walks past, as he calculates how to fit in our fixtures, and bring in our next signing. I know the club is in safe hands.
I’d like to thank all the ‘players’ in Wrexham’s success this season. There’s far more than I’ve mentioned, but there’s far fewer than you might think.