So there I was, like countless players up and down the ground, minding my own business as the clock ticked down to the end of the transfer window when the gaffer asked for a word of calm.
“We’re sending you to Wrexham this month,” he said. “This is a great opportunity. It’s a club that goes places, as you saw for yourself on Sunday. Get some loan games under your belt and who knows where it might lead.
Well, I did the last bit. My days in football ended years ago through a ruptured Achilles. Furthermore, I’ve known Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson long enough for him to gleefully refer to me and a colleague from another newspaper as a “bad pair” before his weekly press conference at Bradford City. So he’s confident the boots won’t follow me to north Wales.
But my laptop will certainly make the journey as I set out to cover the difficult months that could go a long way to determining whether Wrexham will soon have a long-awaited return to the EFL to go along with its new status as a city.
Starting with Saturday’s National League trip to Altrincham, The player He will join Parkinson’s team every step of the way as they negotiate eight tasty games in February, including an FA Cup fourth-round replay with Sheffield United and now Tottenham Hotspur for the prize.
We’ll also be keeping an eye on goal machine Paul Mullin as he goes toe-to-toe with Erling Haaland in the race for the country’s top goalscorer.
Exciting times for a reborn club until February 2021 taken over by Hollywood duo Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, as I found out for myself last week. The atmosphere as the home side finished 3-2 up until the final seconds against Championship side United was electric, probably the best I’ve seen all season.
That was not in terms of the noise, but also the passion of the two groups of fans who never turn to hatred that can often affect these big events, especially when the kick-off is delayed to give an opportunity for a few hours. Before the bars.
The only disappointment was that the new stand at the Kop had not yet been built. Imagine how loud things would be in a quadrangle?
With five home games to play in February – including big games against Woking and Chesterfield, two clubs hoping to benefit if Parkinson’s and Notts County slip up – the midfielder from West Yorkshire expect more of the same, including more airings of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Wrexham’ award-winning Deadpool star Reynolds and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia co-creator McElhenney’s local team Declan Swans.
It’s fascinating that two members of the Sheffield United press corp were still singing ‘Bring on the Deadpool… and Rob McElhenney’ when they got into their cars at 8.30pm on Sunday.
I can’t claim to be a lifelong Wrexham fan, as you might think. Before the Sunday, my last visit to the Racecourse was on Boxing Day 1986, a 2-2 draw with Burnley.
But the place left a lasting impression, at least as I looked from the back row of what is now the University End it looked like a bar to our right that was actually part of the ground, complete with an eye-popping balcony. hold the field.
It impressed me. Why does it have an uninterrupted view of the field? Have you watched the drinkers for free? Will this Burnley team, who are comfortably unlucky in club history that season, look any better at the bottom of the glass called ‘dandelion’ and burdock? (I was 13 then!)
As I’m currently checking out The Football Grounds of England & Wales – a truly seminal book by Simon Inglis which sufficiently ignited a love of football grounds in young Sutcliffe last October I have finally achieved a lifelong ambition. all joining the Ninety Two Club – this is the same Turf Hotel that viewers of the documentary Welcome to Wrexham now see as the heartbeat of football support in the area.
The valley will be one of the first stops for a pint. So the work went down. And this is where I would like your help, Wrexham fans.
What would you like to read about your club? His story – be it a lifelong fan living around Mold Street or a newcomer from overseas who fell in love with the club through the documentary – can we tell it? Is there a player you really want to hear about?
We spoke to Phil Parkinson a long time ago against Sheffield United, but is there anyone else in the coaching staff whose story you would like to be told? All suggestions are welcome in the comments below.
For now, though, I’m doing what all deadline day borrowers must do – I’m getting to know my new surroundings. It promises to be a lot of fun.
PS Don’t worry Blades fans, I won’t neglect ‘day’ work. I will continue to do everything Sheffield United, especially by insisting that any loan agreement does not contain a clause that prevents me from facing the club I have spoken about since then. The player Life in the UK started in August 2019. So, see you all at Lane next Tuesday.
You can follow Richard on Twitter here.
(Top photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)