Wales and former Wrexham custodian Chris Maxwell returned to the Racecourse this morning and insists that his rise all began at the Cae Ras.
From Crispin Lane to international fame the current Preston North End 'keeper was part of Ryan Giggs' Wales team who held an open training session at the Racecourse Ground, his first return since departing the Dragons for the final time in 2013.
"I joined the club as a 10-year old and Wrexham Football Club made me" said the shot-stopper affectionately known as 'Maxi'.
"Some of the staff that are still here it’s been great to see them and I owe them a lot, and for the Wrexham fans too to support me when I was such a young age when I came into the team it’ll always be a place in my heart and always be somewhere that I treasure".
Maxwell signed for the club at a young age and spent eight years as part of the academy at Wrexham, before plying his trade in the first team at just 18. During his four year initial spell with the Dragons he went on to make 76 league appearances in the Conference Premier, losing out in the play-offs twice.
He departed in 2012 for Fleetwood Town before re-joining on a six month loan in 2013, playing at Wembley twice and winning the FA Trophy under the arch.
"Every part of my career has been very enjoyable, but has also had hard work on top of that, my second stint here was unfortunate as we didn’t get promoted but from a personal point of view I learnt a lot from that six months and pushed on, now hopefully Wrexham can do the same".
The Welsh National Team is no stranger to talent from the Dragons with Maxwell, Neil Taylor and fellow goalkeeper Danny Ward all coming through the system at Wrexham, whilst midfielder Joe Allen also helped develop during a loan spell with the reds.
"It’s a massive club, the biggest club in North Wales and for many a year the biggest club in Wales, and so that’s no surprise that some of us have come through the youth system, the club has produced some very good players over the years and that’s down to the set-up that was here and hopefully that can continue and the club can push into the Football League".
Maxi was chatting to the media team after the session which was witnessed by 4,000 North Walian supporters at the Racecourse, as the national team returned for the first time in a decade. The likes of Aaron Ramsey, Ashley Williams and Ben Davies were all put through their paces as they prepare to take on Mexico in LA next week.
The return has sparked the imagination of young supporters in the region and many who dreamed of seeing their heroes up close have had that become a reality, with the side returning to the North, something St Asaph born Maxwell was happy to see.
"It’s been good, good to see such a good turnout especially the kids, the support we’ve been getting has been fantastic and to be back up North has been a breath of fresh air, and all who’ve turned up deserve it.
"I think it’s important and the manager has strived the importance of that, the amount of people I know from personal experience who give support to the Welsh team from the north and travel down and don’t get back until three or four in the morning sometimes, it’s important that we give it back, for the guys here today it’s a good chance to give something back".