Wrexham have this afternoon confirmed that they have re-appointed Dean Keates as their first team manager, just 17 months after he left the club.
He departed for boyhood club Walsall in March 2018, but ended up getting sacked in April 2019 and since returned to the Racecourse Ground.
STATEMENT | Dean Keates appointed Wrexham AFC manager.
Details ?? https://t.co/dG6YZ9MxAa
— Wrexham AFC (@Wrexham_AFC) October 6, 2019
Wrexham AFC are delighted to announce that Dean Keates has returned to the Racecourse as our new first team manager. This appointment was unaimously ratified by the Wrexham Supporters Trust board.
Dean, who spent two previous spells with the Dragons both as a player and manager, has signed a deal that will keep him at the Racecourse until the summer of 2021, marking a second spell as manager of the club.
Keates made more than 160 appearances as our captain, making his debut during a 1-0 win over Cambridge United in August 2010, going on to lift the FA Trophy at Wembley Stadium in 2013, be part of the team that gathered a record 98 points and reach the National League play-offs three times.
After hanging up his boots in 2015, Dean would concentrate on coaching before returning to the Dragons as manager in October 2016. He took over a struggling Wrexham team that found itself in 16th place, having only won six out of 16 league games. Dean restructured the squad, put plans in place for the future and guided the club to safety during his first season in charge.
Dean’s second season in charge saw him depart during March 2018 for an opportunity to manage boyhood club Walsall, with Wrexham on course for a play-off finish, the club would eventually finish three points shy of the play offs without Keates’ guidance. Dean left the team in fourth place after beating rivals Chester 2-0, having kept a club record 20 clean sheets, on a 13-game unbeaten run and having only lost 6 games all season.
The recruitment process to appoint Dean as our first team manager was headed up by former manager and player, now club president, Dixie McNeil on behalf of the Wrexham Supporters Trust. Dixie commented on the appointment saying: “I wish Dean all the very best of luck for the rest of the season. It’s really nice that he wanted to come back to the club and I hope that the Wrexham supporters will get behind Dean.
“Together we can turn this season around and I believe Dean can push us up the league table, although we are behind the play-off places at the moment, there are still over 90 points to play for.”
Talking of the process that he led to appointing Dean, Dixie commented: “We talked to a number of people about the position, which we narrowed down to and then interviewed five people. Dean gave a very good interview and we decided he was by far the best person for the job.”
After Wrexham announced manager Dean Keates has returned to the club, fans took to give their reaction and it’s produced quite a divide in opinion – see those tweets on the next page.