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How little-known rule led to Ryan Reynolds' Wrexham culling eight promoted stars

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WREXHAM have released eight promotion-winning stars as they prepare for life in League One.

The Red Dragons will compete in the third tier for the first time since 2005 after coming second in League Two under boss Phil Parkinson.

Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds' Wrexham have had to make some tricky decisions

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Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds’ Wrexham have had to make some tricky decisionsCredit: PA
Experienced midfielder Luke Young has not had his contract renewed

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Experienced midfielder Luke Young has not had his contract renewedCredit: Getty
Stalwart Ben Tozer has also been released

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Stalwart Ben Tozer has also been releasedCredit: Getty

Following back-to-back promotions, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney‘s men are set to retool in order to compete as best they can.

In the days following the conclusion of the League Two season, Wrexham made eight players aware that they would not be having their deals renewed.

These included former captains Ben Tozer and Luke Young, with the Plymouth-born duo departing having made 377 appearances between them.

Aaron Hayden, Rob Lainton, Callum McFadzean, Jordan Tunnicliffe and Owen Cushion have also been let go.

Explaining the difficult decisions, Parkinson, 56, said: “People are not completely aware of that rule.

“We have got to work towards the 22-man squad and inevitably, the only way we can bring players in is by letting people go.

“The aim has always been to improve what we have got in each transfer window but also maintaining our key players.

“That’s what we will be aiming to do this time. It is going to be an interesting summer, we have got ideas how we would like to see the squad shape up.

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Phil Parkinson has explained Wrexham's decision making process

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Phil Parkinson has explained Wrexham’s decision making processCredit: Rex

“We will take our time and hopefully get a squad which can be competitive.”

Clubs in League One must submit 22-man squad lists, featuring a minimum of eight homegrown players.

Ryan Reynolds reveals ‘absolute idiocy’ Wrexham gaffe that cost him and Rob McElhenney a fortune

Goalkeepers or players under 21 do not need to be registered on the list.

Wrexham have offered new deals to Steven Fletcher, Mark Howard and Aaron James.

While Irish international and former Premier League star James McClean is among the players that have been retained.

The Red Dragons’ executive director Humphrey Ker is hopeful of a top half finish upon his side’s return to the third tier.

Here is a rundown of Wrexham’s full list of players that have been released and retained.

Here is a rundown of Wrexham’s full list of players that have been released and retained.

Released:

  • Aaron Hayden
  • Rob Lainton
  • Callum McFadzean
  • Ben Tozer
  • Jordan Tunnicliffe
  • Luke Young
  • Owen Cushion
  • Dan Davies

Offers:

  • Steven Fletcher
  • Mark Howard
  • Aaron James

Retained:

  • James McClean
  • Harry Ashfield
  • Callum Edwards
  • Liam Hall
  • James Rainbird

Decision Pending:

‘Stranger things than promotion have happened’

He told the Independent: “I think we’ve often talked about the idea that it takes three transfer windows to really build a squad into what you need to compete in any one division and next season will be one window shorter than that.

“But I think the core of this team is very strong. They’re very strong personalities, good players and they love each other, so that’s a great basis to build from.

“We’ll be adding players in the summer and sadly saying goodbye to one or two, which is sort of just the nature of football, and then we’ll sort of see where we wind up.

“Inside the building, we’re like, ‘Look, our objective is get up and stay up, stabilise and build a good platform and go again the following year.’

“But stranger things than promotion have happened – we might go through the division again.

“To be honest, that would probably be too fast for us. It wouldn’t actually be that good for the club as a whole if we did go all the way through this year because we’d just be going so quickly.

“Then we’d be trying to catch up with infrastructure and our facilities and everything would be a big, big challenge. So I think something nice and comfortable – upper mid-table, please! Tenth. I’d be very happy with that.”

Humphrey Ker has outlined Wrexham's ambitions for next season

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Humphrey Ker has outlined Wrexham’s ambitions for next seasonCredit: Getty
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