After a busy pre-season, with Kevin Wilkin and his staff preparing for the new season, there’s been one subject that has failed to go unresolved, the goalkeeper.
Our initial thoughts before going into pre-season was that Joslain Mayebi and Andy Coughlin will battle it out for the number one shirt but since then Mayebi has failed to return to training, his contract expired and he is no longer a Wrexham player, leaving a gap.
First of all we saw Connor Roberts, such an exciting player when we saw him in the Swansea City and Colwyn Bay friendlies, his record is superb including a call up to the Wales squad, although rather untested in competitive league fixtures. His release from Cheltenham Town was surprising, especially as most thought he would be first team after the departure of outstanding shot stopper Scott Brown to Aberdeen. But after a below par performance at AFC Fylde, Kevin Wilkin decided to not go with the Welsh U21 international.
The boss decided to look elsewhere, step forward Mason Springthorpe. The former Shrewsbury Town youth player joined Everton aged 16, forcing his way into the under 21 side before appearing on the bench for the first team in 2013 against Reading in the Premier League. He gained Conference Premier experience last season playing for Woking on loan before his release, but after playing against an Everton XI Wilkin turned down the option to sign him up.
With Coughlin out injured, it left the management with a hole to fill, we decided to invite Dimitar Evtimov to play for the side. His first game at Hednesford went well and terms to sign him on loan were agreed. But after a back page spread boasting the claim of making the number one shirt his, the deal fell through and made his way back to Nottingham Forest.
Ian Dunbavin, a name that has been on the books of seven clubs for the last 16 years, a career which has seen the 34 year old win just one trophy, the FA Youth Cup with Liverpool. Coming to Wrexham with the clock ticking on his career, he will have had ambitions to win some silverwear to show the grandchildren. Is Wrexham the club? It could be, after playing against Rhyl he did not return to the first game back at the Racecourse.
Youth team goalkeeper Louis Gray is a potential option, having been at the club for many years, he was stuck behind Danny Ward for a while before his departure to Liverpool, now he could have the chance to break into the side. Although minimal game time for the first team this pre-season has hinted the manager is looking elsewhere, maybe a loan spell would suit Louis before picking up the Wrexham shirt from the pegs of our new changing room.
The last player tested was Stoke City stopper Daniel Bachmann, a product of the Austria Vienna academy before making a switch to the Britannia, he has signed on loan after playing for Wrexham against Bolton under the alias of ‘Trialist A’. He’s highly regarded by the Potters and could be a future top division star, hoping to replicate Ben Foster, who had a brief loan at the Racecourse in 2005.
It’s interesting to see who is on the bench or starting against Dartford on Saturday, personally I was surprised Connor Roberts was allowed to go, as when speaking to the Wrexham Player team, he seemed keen to sign for his home town club. But if a proven Premier League academy goalkeeper joins the club, it’s certainly a good way of giving Andy Coughlin some competition. Only one way to find out who will be our number one, find out on Saturday, by tuning in to Wrexham Player!