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Wrexham AFC: Shaun Pearson wants to make flying start to new season

Published date: 06 July 2017 |
Published by: Richard Williams
Read more articles by Richard Williams


 

SHAUN PEARSON would love to make a flying start to the 2017-18 campaign, but the newly appointed Wrexham captain insists it isn’t crucial.

Wrexham are preparing for a 10th season in non-league and Pearson is one of a host of new signings who have already been brought in ahead of the big kick-off on August 5, where Wrexham will play host to Jack Mackreth’s former club Macclesfield, managed by John Askey. 

The 28-year-old made more than 250 appearances in six seasons at Grimsby and was part of the team  promoted to the Football League in 2016 via the play-offs.

Pearson would like to see Wrexham signal their intentions from the start, but believes consistency is key and stressed the importance of getting stronger throughout the course of the 46 games.

“It is always great to get off to a good start but it is not the end of the world,” said Pearson.

“It is important once you get 10 games in that you are in and around, and you are improving. It is no good flying at the start and then being on a decline and performances are getting worse.

“If anything you would much rather be slightly slower starters as long as you are seeing an improvement, and then once you come into the middle part of the season where games come thick and fast, especially November, December, January, they are really important months where you can pick up and push on.

“In this league, so many teams have started off flying and five or six points clear in October but very few have gone on to win it.

“Don’t get me wrong, if we are five or six points clear I would be delighted but we will just be looking to make sure we are there or there abouts and then really look to kick-on, and hopefully we can get stronger and stronger as the year goes on.”

After starting with a home game against Macclesfield, Wrexham head to Maidenhead on Tuesday, August 8, before making the long trip to Dover Athletic on Saturday, August 12.

A midweek home game with Gateshead (August 15) follows, before the Reds make their way to Maidstone on Saturday, August 19.

A return to The Racecourse follows for Wrexham as they entertain Woking on Saturday, August 26, before the opening month of the campaign concludes with a trip to Boreham Wood on just two days later.

September starts with a home encounter against Bromley, before Keates’ men visit Torquay a week later and Craig Harrison’s Hartlepool head to Wrexham on September 12 to finish the first 10 fixtures.

Six teams will be involved in the play-offs. The new system will see two-legged ties scrapped, with teams finishing from second to seventh vying for promotion in the end of season lottery.

The title winners will be promoted automatically, while those teams finishing second and third will progress straight to one-off home semi-final matches.

Teams finishing fourth down to seventh will then play a one-off qualifying tie for the right to an away semi-final, before the final at Wembley.

More teams will have a chance of being involved in the promotion shake-up but Pearson is still setting his sights high.

“You can’t leave yourself too much to do because teams don’t slow up in this league,” said Pearson. 

“It’s a high points total to get in the play-offs, although this year will probably be slightly lower with the extra two places.

“You want to be top but if not, finish as high as possible and try to give yourself that advantage if it does come to the play-offs.”

Pearson is impressed with the squad that manager Dean Keates has compiled and says the players will give everything in the quest for success.

“On paper it looks good, now it is about putting it together,” added Pearson.

“What I have seen so far is you are going to get an honest set of lads that is going to give it their all.

“If that’s enough, who knows, hopefully it will be. I think a couple more additions will be needed and when we get into the league games, then we will have a better idea of where we stand.

“But I think everybody is quite clear on the objective and everybody knows what we want to do, what we want to achieve, although at the same time you can never guarantee anything.”

Other notable fixtures for Wrexham fans to look out for include the home and away games with Tranmere Rovers and the cross-border derby with rivals Chester.

Wrexham head to Rovers on Saturday, September 23, before hosting Tranmere on Saturday, January 27.

The Reds make the trip across the border to face Chester on Saturday, November 11, before the Blues visit The Racecourse on March 10 and  Wrexham finish the season at home to AFC Fylde on April 28.

FIRST DAY FIXTURES: AFC Fylde v Boreham Wood; Bromley v Eastleigh; Dagenham and Redbridge v Barrow; FC Halifax Town v Aldershot Town; Guiseley v Ebbsfleet United; Hartlepool Utd v Dover; Maidstone Utd v Maidenhead; Solihull Moors v Chester; Sutton  v Leyton Orient; Torquay Utd v Tranmere; Woking v Gateshead; Wrexham v Macclesfield.

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