Jordan Tunnicliffe became Wrexham and Phil Parkinson’s first signing of the 2022 summer transfer window, as the Reds look to add more proven quality to the side.
Tunnicliffe is a no-nonsense defender, admitting he was comfortable heading and clearing the ball where needed, alongside encompassing the modern branch of defending in playing out from the back, with attack starting from defence.
Jordan’s 108 appearances made him a continuous presence in the Crawley Town backline during his three years there, and 15 clean sheets in 42 outings contributed to him being named in the 2020/21 League Two Team of the Season.
Another factor in his recognition as part of League Two’s best was his goalscoring prowess. Five goals in the campaign, including the third goal in a home annihilation of Premier League side Leeds United is what elevated the defender as one of the division's standouts that year, alongside now-Wrexham striker Paul Mullin.
In his two Play-Off-securing years with AFC Fylde in the National League from 2017-19, Tunnicliffe scored 10 goals in the league and a further two goals in their FA Trophy winning campaign in his second season.
Aaron Hayden and Ollie Palmer are always delighted to be on the receiving end of a trademark Ben Tozer long-throw and Tunnicliffe will be hungrily awaiting for his opportunity to take his slice of the pie from the desirable throw-ins.
Wrexham are not only obtaining a League Two-quality defender, but a man who has experienced the Play-Offs two seasons on the bounce with AFC Fylde. Although the Coasters fell at the final hurdle to Salford City in 2019, the experience of the big occasion will have been valuable to Tunnicliffe.
Jordan was keen to remark instantly how he only wished to only spend one season in the National League, showcasing his desire to achieve promotion with the Reds, as he is ‘an ambitious player’ at ‘an ambitious Club.’
On the back of his tremendous campaign with Crawley in 2020/21, Tunnicliffe unfortunately suffered a five-month-long injury in the opening game of the season to Hartlepool United. He told the Observer how he had that ‘hint of jealousy,’ whilst sitting on the sidelines supporting his team-mates. This type of attitude shows his pure desire to be playing football, an attribute manager Parkinson will welcome with open arms.
The Nuneaton born man began his career in 2004 with the West Bromwich academy - where he would stay until 2013 - after which he would move from Barnsley to Stalybridge and then Sutton Coldfield.
Real game time commenced during his tenure at Kidderminster Harriers, where he moved in 2017. He amassed 13 appearances before their drop down into the National League North.
Jordan subsequently only made one league appearance and one FA Trophy display. He did however score in both of those games, highlighting his tenacity to make himself a presence at set-pieces.
The Harriers finished second in their first season in the National League North, but failed to qualify through the Play-Offs and return to the National League. AFC Fylde’s top-spot finish did land the Coasters automatic promotion to the National League for the first time ever. They consequently decided to bring Tunnicliffe on the journey with them.
In his 90 appearances for Fylde, Tunnicliffe accumulated 10 goals in the league, including a further two goals in the FA Trophy winning campaign in the 2018/19 season, where they defeated Leyton Orient 1-0 at Wembley, eight days after losing to Salford City in the Play-Off Final.
Finishing seventh and fifth in a Club’s first ever two outings in the National League are no easy feats, and Tunnicliffe was an integral part of this.
Wrexham’s newest signing exclaimed how the National League is the hardest league to gain promotion from. However, his goals and defensive capabilities in a long, onerous season could prove vital when it comes to helping the Reds achieve success this season.