WFC Media Team member Richard Griffiths meets one of his footballing icons...
I recently sat down with one of my Wrexham heroes, midfielder Gareth Owen. Gareth made 298 appearances for Wrexham between 1989 and 2001, as well as being capped for the Wales U21 side. Following a successful playing career, he went on to manage within the Welsh Premier League.
Firstly, I wanted to catch up with what he's been up to lately:
GO: Well, I've been working for the Welsh FA for the past ten years, more recently as a 'B Licence' manager, which entails overseeing the five regional coaching courses as well as ensuring we take coaching forward within Wales.
RG: So I imagine that keeps you busy...
GO: It does - Carl (Darlington) is my line manager, and he's such a hard worker, and that sets the trend for us all to follow. We talk about many things around coaching and education, but Wrexham Football Club always crops up as well!
RG: Well, there's no getting away from Wrexham is there?
GO: No, its always part of your life, and that's a pleasure.
RG: Have you managed to watch Wrexham this season at all?
GO: Yes, believe it or not, I went to a few of the pre-season games. My wife Gemma is heavily involved with the club too, so we try to get to as many home games as we can. We saw the Macclesfield game.
RG: What have you made of the team so far this season?
GO: Obviously the first home game of the season is always going to be a tough one - you've got a big expectation, and quite rightly so. What you've got to remember is that you've got a squad of 14 or 15 coming together for the first time in the first game in a new stadium. Plans will have been worked on in pre-season, tactically wise, as well as the lads 'gelling', but I think that first game will have hit some of the players, who will think "I'm at a real club here now". I think we settled down well with a victory in the second game (at Maidenhead).
It takes time with a new group of players coming together, so we've got to be patient.
RG: What are your thoughts on the signing on loan of Alex Reid?
GO: It's great - it's possibly the missing link - a proven goalscorer who can get into double figures for us...someone who can guarantee us those goals this season, but lets see where that leads us. Hopefully he gets us the goals going forward.
RG: Prior to the season there seemed to be a new optimism around the club that we would capture a playoff spot this time round. What are your thoughts?
GO: I think the optimism is always there - every year as a Wrexham fan its always "this is our year", but let's just hope this really is actually our year - there's an extra playoff spot to fire for... I think that Dean and his staff will think that is the least the fans expect, and this will cascade to the players. If we can get into the top six, that would be brilliant. There's a lot of good teams that are going to make it difficult for us, but what I would say is - don't judge anything until Christmas.
You can follow Richard Griffiths on Twitter: @welshmapleleaf