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Wales return to Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground for October friendly

20 Apr 2023 3 minute read
The Racecourse Ground. Photo Nigel French PA Images

Wales are set to play a first international match in Wrexham since 2019 when they take on Gibraltar in October.

The announcement comes following confirmation of financial backing from Wrexham County Borough Council for a new 5,500-seater stand at the Racecourse Ground – the world’s oldest international football stadium – having staged Wales’ first home game in 1877.

The expansion will take Wrexham’s home capacity to around 15,600 and guarantees the future of the Wales national men’s team playing in the north of the country.

Although the development is not due to be completed until the start of the 2024-25 season, Wales plan to take their friendly against Gibraltar on October 11 to Wrexham.

“The council have got funding to make the stadium bigger and that is great news for ourselves and football fans in the north,” Football Association of Wales president Steve Williams told the PA news agency.

“The floodlights will be removed at the end of the season and the Kop development starts on June 1.

“We’ve got some work to do and have some trial runs, but we are looking to take the Gibraltar game there in October.

“We know fans in the north are connected to the Wales national team and there is an appetite to play games in Wrexham.”

The Football Association of Wales was founded in Wrexham in 1876 and the Racecourse Ground hosted every home match until 1890.

Adverse effect

The stadium has hosted a record 94 Wales games, but Wrexham’s decline and fall into non-league in the new millennium had an adverse effect on the national team playing there.

Wales’ last visit to Wrexham, a March 2019 friendly against Trinidad and Tobago, was the first time the men’s senior team had played at the Racecourse for 11 years.

“Cardiff City Stadium is our home ground and, even with the planned Kop development, will have twice the capacity of the Racecourse,” said Williams, a Wrexham fan.

“The FAW obviously has to take that on board, but it is feasible to judge individual games on merit and take opposition-specific games to Wrexham.

“I believe we will fill the ground regardless of who the opposition is.”

Approved funding for the development, which will also see the local railway station and transport infrastructure improved, comes with Wrexham on the verge of returning to the Football League after a 15-year absence.

Co-owners Reynolds and McElhenney have invested heavily both on and off the pitch and introduced the club to an international audience through FX’s successful ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ documentary series.

Wrexham host Boreham Wood on Saturday knowing three points from their final two National League games would guarantee automatic promotion.

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Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
1 year ago

This is welcoming news that International football will return to Wrexham.
However Gibraltar isn’t exactly going to be a crowd puller.
In this day and age we already have The Nations league so it’s about time that meaningless friendlies were scrapped.

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