Pic: Paul Loughlin
WREXHAM boss Dean Keates has been rewarded with a three-and-a-half year contract after impressing the club during his short spell in charge.
Keates, a former captain of the club as a player, took his first steps into management when he replaced Gary Mills as Dragons boss in October.
The ex-Walsall midfielder has revamped the playing squad at the Racecourse and has guided the club up the National League table.
The north Wales outfit have won five of their previous eight league games to move away from relegation trouble and comfortably into the top half of the table, seven points adrift of the top five.
And Keates’ work has not gone unnoticed. The rookie boss, 38, has put pen to paper on a new long-term deal at the Racecourse with the news being announced at the Wrexham Supporters Trust Members Meeting on Thursday night.
Wrexham director Spencer Harris said: “Extending Dean’s contract for three-and-a-half years is brilliant news for Wrexham AFC.
“In a short period of time, Dean has stamped his authority on the team and along with his coaching staff have brought a modern day approach to coaching and player development. We believe that approach will be very successful for the club.
“Dean gets the football club and its fans and is working extremely hard on taking us in the right direction. His approach is very much to get everybody together as one team: fans, board, staff and players to give us the very best chance of success.”
The club, in a bid to compete with some of the bigger budgets in the National League, have also set up a new scheme in order to give Keates a boost.
The ‘Build The Budget’ fund will be implemented next season and the club are hoping fans and businesses from around the world will back them.
Grimsby Town started a similar scheme prior to last season – a campaign that ended up with them winning promotion back to the Football League at Wembley.
Boss Keates told supporters: “This is a tremendous idea from you the owners of the club. As a Trust Member myself, I understand the contribution people already make into this great club so would ask that people give only of what they can.
“I want to ensure you that every penny raised will be spent carefully and with one thing in mind which is to help us challenge next season. You are amongst the best fans anywhere and we all appreciate your support and generosity.”