Sam Ricketts: New Wrexham manager confident of success

Sam Ricketts holds a Wrexham shirt with his name on it
Sam Ricketts began his playing career at Oxford United

Newly appointed manager Sam Ricketts hopes to achieve "something special" at Wrexham.

The National League club have appointed the former Wales international on a three-year contract, his first managerial role.

The 36-year-old has left his role with Premier League-bound Wolverhampton Wanderers' youth set-up to succeed Dean Keates at the Racecourse Ground.

And while his main objective at Wrexham will be to gain promotion to the Football League after an 11-year absence, Ricketts wants to ensure sustainable long-term success at the north Wales club.

"We all want immediate success but sustained success as well," Ricketts said.

"If you look at Swansea, they put in situations in place that helped carry the club from League Two to the Premier League.

"What attracted me to Wrexham was the fact that the foundations have started to be put in place off the pitch and the club is now in a stable situation.

"And there are foundations that have been put in place over the last 12 months on the pitch as well, which is very good.

"It's a chance for me to come in now and keep adding to the layers.

"It's a club with huge potential and a very attractive proposition. It's a big job but we have a great opportunity to do something very special."

Healthy finances

The Dragons, owned by Wrexham Supporters Trust, missed out on this season's National League play-offs by three points having been top of the table as recently as February.

While a Football League return still eludes them, the club is in a healthy financial position and declared a profit in the latest set of financial results in March.

Ricketts won 52 caps for Wales between 2005 and 2014 and played in the Premier League for Hull City and Bolton Wanderers as well as spells with Swansea City, Wolves and Coventry.

But before that was his time with Telford in the Conference, now National League, which secured him a move to then League Two side Swansea in 2004.

"I've got a hunger and desire that took me from non-league all the way through to the Premier League and international football," Ricketts added.

"That is what I'll bring to my managerial career.

"This is a new career for me and a new start.

"It's an opportunity to get my ideas across of 20 years of playing and picking and choosing ideas off different manager and coaches and try and piece it all together into my own stamp.

"I feel confident that I've got enough ideas to make Wrexham successful."

Ricketts' leadership skills

Sam Ricketts
Sam Ricketts made his Wales debut in a friendly against Hungary in February 2005

Ricketts has been described as an "exceptional leader" by Wrexham director Spencer Harris, who revealed the club received numerous applications to succeed Keates, who joined Walsall in March.

"It's a big coup for the football club to get somebody of Sam's standing," Harris said.

"When you look at his career he's played over 500 games, played at every level of football and played 52 times for our country.

"He's been captain at the various clubs that he's been at.

"In addition to his leadership skills, Sam is also meticulous in the way in which he goes about things.

"He's highly organised and has got a great attention to detail - all of the things that are going to enable him to be successful at Wrexham.

"He's also got values that fit with Wrexham AFC, values that our fans hold dear and will stand Sam in good stead."

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