Wrexham v Barrow
Location: My Racecourse
Competition: Vanarama National League
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After months of waiting for it, competitive football makes a welcome return as Wrexham play host to Barrow in what promises to be a summer scorcher.
Wrexham come into the game on the back of mixed results against a vast array of opposition over pre-season. We ended our warm-ups with a narrow 1-0 defeat to Crewe Alexandra at the Cae Ras. Over the course of July we put the likes of Cefn Druids, AFC Telford United and Curzon Ashton to the sword whilst we lost out to Portimonense, Stoke City and the aforementioned Crewe.
Barrow ended their summer with a victory over Lancaster City picking up a 1-0 win on the road meaning they come into the game with a decent winning mentality, though it'll prove nothing compared to any competitive action. The Bluebirds have had a good pre-season with victories over Workington and EFL side Morecambe. Meanwhile, they suffered defeats to Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool.
Manager Bryan Hughes will have a clear picture of the XI he'll be playing this weekend as he opens his first full-season in charge of the club. The squad as a whole has presented their case to be on the pitch from kick-off with plenty of competition in the ranks. Skipper Shaun Pearson should lead the side out wearing the armband for the third season on the trot having progressed year on year since signing from Grimsby Town in 2017. Meanwhile Mark Carrington - the club's longest-serving player - will step out for his seventh season at the club.
For Barrow, they've a couple of familiar faces in their side who could feature this weekend. Former Dragons striker Scott Quigley departed Blackpool this summer opting to head to Holker Street. Quigley had a spell with Halifax last term and scored against Wrexham at the Shay and will be hoping his luck hasn't ran out when coming up against Wrexham. Midfielder John Rooney is another player we know all too well, the 28-year old spent a season at the Cae Ras and is a real danger from set-pieces and isn't shy of the spectacular at times.
We've met on numerous occasions in the National League whilst last time out it was Barrow taking the spoils. In rain suited more to a North Sea oil rig than a springtime match-up, Barrow slammed three in the first half to hit Wrexham's title aspirations with a hammer blow. Kieran Kennedy pulled one back late on but it wouldn't be enough. Our last trip to Barrow ended in a 0-0 draw.
Wrexham goalkeeper Rob Lainton remains sidelined whilst midfielder Akil Wright has returned from his illness and trained this week.
The Wrexham AFC media team will be bringing you radio commentary of all the pre-season action this summer, free and exclusively on the club’s Mixlr channel. Follow the match live on our social media channels too, and look out for highlights and post-match reaction on the club’s YouTube channel.