Towering centre-back Aaron Hayden is relishing an ‘exciting’ season at Wrexham AFC as part of a squad determined to go one better in the new campaign.
After arriving at the Racecourse Ground last summer, 25-year-old Hayden made a big impact in his first season in North Wales – earning a place in the Vanarama National League Team of the Season as a result.
He was an integral part of Phil Parkinson’s back three for much of the campaign, until an injury at Weymouth in late April brought a premature end to his 2021/22 season.
But now looking ahead to next season, Hayden says the players have a clear idea of what’s needed to improve on the second-place finish, and to achieve the Club’s ambitions.
He said: “For us players, the goal is the same – to try and win every single game, nothing really changes.
“It’s not about the pressure on us, it’s about turning it into a positive which is learning from it and making sure we’re better this season.
“The last third of the season we were up around where we want to be, and that’s the kind of form we have to show all year round if we want to win the league.
“It’s important that everyone rests up and we need to make sure we do what we need to do, it doesn’t even need to be said.
“If you thought that last season was exciting, then this season is going to be even more exciting.”
The 2021/22 campaign not only saw the return of supporters to the Racecourse, but the Club achieved its record average home attendance in the National League.
More than 218,000 supporters came through the turnstiles last year, and with general admission season tickets sold out already, Hayden added it shows why he joined the club.
He said: “It was more than 5,000 sold last season and now it's more than 6,000, it shows that none of the supporters are dropping off so we have to make sure that we don’t either.
“There were a lot of times last season where they become the twelfth man, and then when we went a man down they became the eleventh.
“Playing at the Racecourse Ground and hearing that roar, there's no buzz like it.
"That’s the beauty of the club and why I’ve fallen in love with Wrexham, we need to make sure that we go one further for them.
“That’s why I want to give my all for the Club because of their support, the culture, and the passion that the fans have.”
Hayden was one of ten summer signings last year by boss Phil Parkinson and the former Carlisle man instantly became one of the figureheads of the squad.
The centre-back scored eight times in all competitions, as he proved to be a threat from set-pieces all season long.
He only missed three games in the Vanarama National League last year, but this time around he believes they will get off to a strong start on the pitch.
He said: “First game of this season will be a different story; we all know each other, we know each other’s temperament.
“We’ve got a great squad now and it’s a lot different from how it was when I arrived.
“The gaffer has another window to get the squad how he wants it and you can’t build Rome in a day.
“I honestly can’t wait, as soon as I get back from my holidays I just want to see that new kit and put it on.”
Official membership for the 2022/23 campaign remains on sale, with a range of exciting and increased benefits on offer to supporters.
As an additional benefit offered for the upcoming campaign, those who purchase a 2022/23 membership will also enjoy priority over non-members for season tickets in future seasons.