Sam Dalby was announced as a Red Dragon on the August 1, 2022, as he became the fifth acquisition of the 2022 summer.
Southend United’s Young Player of the Year, Dalby joined Wrexham on a two-year deal with the option of a third.
Ten goals playing up front in a first full season in the top five divisions is quite the feat for a 22-year-old, as he only missed the penultimate game of the season.
Dalby began his career playing at Leyton Orient, where he made 16 appearances, scoring once in the 2016/17 campaign.
Two appearances the following season for Orient in the National League would be the end of his tenure there, as he was snapped up by Leeds United on a two-and-a-half-year deal.
Sam joined Leeds’ under-23 outfit, where he played five games, scoring seven goals. An impressive return rate for the youngster.
In order to gather league experience, Dalby would join Morecambe on loan on the January 31, 2019.
In his first interview for Wrexham, Dalby spoke of his double figures for goals last season, but was keen to highlight his all-round play as a forward. Former Morecambe manager, Jim Bentley, spoke in 2019 of Sam’s attributes too, showcasing the striker as the full package and not merely someone for just the goalscoring charts.
The loan spell saw limited opportunities for Dalby and Watford would be next in line to take the striker in. Playing 12 games for their under-23, he scored 16 goals in the Professional Development League. In 2019/20, he was the top scorer with 15 goals in the league.
His debut for the first team would come in the shock FA Cup defeat in 2020 to Tranmere Rovers, as he came on as a substitute in the 81st minute for Joao Pedro.
Injury would hamper the next season, which was already severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
His development continued on a loan move to Stockport County in February 2021, where he would make four appearances in a month.
Three days after returning from County, Watford would again loan Dalby. He joined Woking in the National League, where he would accumulate 14 league appearances for the end of the season, netting once.
Sam’s time in the National League would become permanent, when Southend United would utilise the striker on a two-year deal, as they hoped to return to the EFL after being relegated from it for the first time in 101 years in 2021.
Nine league goals in 43 appearances told one story. His ability to link up play and feed in other players was another.
The pick of the bunch came against Dover Athletic, where he curled an astute effort into the far corner, leaving their goalkeeper rooted to the spot.
Dalby will now join a whole host of talent up front for Wrexham, as he will undoubtedly gain experience and success from the likes of Paul Mullin and Ollie Palmer.