Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Steve Harris previews the game at the Racecourse Ground
WREXHAM AFC VS TORQUAY UNITED
Venue: The Racecourse Ground, Wrexham
Date: 24th September 2022
Torquay: L, L, L, W, L, D
Wrexham: W, W, W, W, W, D
HEAD TO HEAD
Torquay: Will Goodwin (2)
Wrexham: Paul Mullin (7)
Year founded: 1864
Nickname: The Red Dragons
Last season’s league finish: 2nd in the National League
Division Three/Division Two/League One:
Football League Trophy:
Winners 23 times
MANAGER: PHIL PARKINSON
Phil Parkinson is currently embarking on his second season as Wrexham manager after he was chosen to succeed Dean Keates by owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney in the summer of 2021. After spending the majority of his playing career with Bury and Reading, Parkinson took charge of Colchester United in 2003; he later led the U’s to an unlikely promotion to the Championship in the 2005-06 season.
Spells with Hull City and Charlton Athletic followed before he took charge of Bradford City in August 2011. He made history during his stint in charge of the Bantams – as he guided them to the EFL Cup final in the 2012-13 campaign after beating Arsenal and Aston Villa enroute before losing to Swansea City. Parkinson also led Bradford to promotion from League Two via the Play-offs later that season following a late run of form. The Bantams followed up their run to Wembley by beating Chelsea 3-2 in the FA Cup In the 2013-14 season.
After leaving Valley Parade in the summer of 2016 to take charge of Bolton Wanderers Parkinson led the Trotters to promotion from League One as runners-up in the 2016-17 season. Despite keeping Bolton in the Championship in the 2017-18 season they were relegated in the following campaign in the wake of financial struggles. These issues came to head in August 2019 when he resigned from his post, by which time the club were in Administration.
A spell in charge of Sunderland followed before he left the Stadium of Light in November 2020 and was replaced by Lee Johnson – Gary Johnson’s son – prior to his appointment as Red Dragons boss.
In his first season at the Racecourse Ground, Parkinson led Wrexham to a second place finish in the National League and he also guided them to the FA Trophy final, where they were beaten by Bromley.
PLAYER TO WATCH: LUKE YOUNG
A player who needs no introduction to Torquay United fans, Luke Young joined the Gulls in 2014 after making over 100 appearances for his home-town club Plymouth Argyle after progressing through the Pilgrims’ youth set-up.
He soon became an instant hit with Plainmoor faithful as he helped to spearhead a run of six straight wins between August and September 2014, which made an immediate return to the Football League for the recently relegated Gulls seem like a reality. Young then followed this up with what was arguably his finest moment for United when he scored a stunning 40-yard volley against Wrexham on October 4th, 2014; he then went on to win the first of his three player of the year awards at the end of the 2014-15 season.
Injury then meant that Young missed most of the 2015-16 season, but he still managed to return to play a part in helping the Gulls to secure their first ‘great escape’ under Kevin Nicholson.
After returning to full fitness in the 2016-17 campaign, he once again played an influential role in helping United avoid relegation a second time under Nicholson. Over the course of the season, he scored six goals and played a key part in both goals in the Gulls’ 2-0 win over North Ferriby United on the final day of the season. He also lifted his second player of the year prize.
However, despite completing a hat-trick of player of the year awards in the 2017-18 season, Young was unable to prevent the Gulls being relegated to National League South and he joined Wrexham in the summer of 2018.
He finished the 2020-21 season as the club’s top scorer with 12 goals in all competitions and was made club captain on the eve of the 2021-22 campaign.
Date of Birth: 22nd February 1993 – 29 Years Old
Former Clubs: Plymouth Argyle, Torquay United
NL Stats 22-23: Played 8, Goals Scored 0, Yellow/Red 1/0
Wrexham: Luke Young
PREVIOUS HEAD TO HEAD
TORQUAY UNITED 1-0 WREXHAM AFC
5th February 2022
Asa Hall’s eighth minute header was enough to secure Torquay United victory over Wrexham.
United skipper Hall rose highest at the back post to meet Armani Little’s curling free-kick and beat Wrexham goalkeeper Rob Lainton to score his fourth goal of the season.
Wrexham captain Luke Young almost levelled straight after the restart but Shaun MacDonald was equal to the effort.
The victory moves the Gulls up to 11th, while Wrexham drop a place to seventh.
Torquay United (4-4-2)
Dylan Crowe – Ross Marshall – Ali Omar – Ben Wyatt
Kieron Evans – Asa Hall – Ryan Hanson – Dan Martin
Corie Andrews – Will Goodwin
Wrexham AFC (3-5-2)
Aaron Hayden – Ben Tozer – Max Cleworth
Anthony Forde – James Jones – Luke Young – Jordan Davies – Jacob Mendy
Paul Mullin – Ollie Palmer