RILEY JOINS WREXHAM
Paul Cox video interview, Tuesday morning 17 July 2012 --->
Paul Cox reiterated again that Martin Riley had the opportunity to re-sign for the club but he chose to go elsewhere.
Martin Riley Becomes Latest Signing
Posted on: Mon 16 Jul 2012
THE latest addition to the Racecourse ranks is former Wolves trainee Martin Riley, who joins the Dragons following a season with Mansfield Town.
After joining his hometown club Wolves as a 14 year-old, the 6' 2" centre half was released by the Molineux side in 2008 and had a short spell training Shrewsbury Town, before a permanent move to Kidderminster Harriers later that summer.
Martin made 85 appearances for the Worcestershire outfit over the next two seasons in the Conference, but in 2010 followed manager Mark Yates to Cheltenham Town, making a further 29 starts in the Football League.
He left Whaddon Road in 2011 and joined the Stags, after rejecting offers from several other clubs to head to Field Mill, where he has become a regular in their back four.
The 25 year-old has now agreed to move across country and sign a one-year deal with Wrexham, following a training session with the Dragons this afternoon
Martin: Happy To be Joining A Good Club
FOLLOWING talks with manager Andy Morrell, former Mansfield Town defender Martin Riley has agreed to join Wrexham for the coming season.
"I spent last year with Mansfield and we were unlucky not to make it through to at least the play-off final," said Martin after completing the necessary paperwork.
"It was just the same for Wrexham, after such a great season, so many points and yet still not to gain promotion.
"Now though I here at Wrexham and happy to be joining a club with a good reputation, great support and a famous history.
"It's been a long summer sorting out my future, talking to various clubs, but now it's done and dusted, so all I want to do is get down to the hard work of pre-season training."
Wrexham fans are likely to get their first view of the central defender on Wednesday night, when SPL side Kilmarnock are the visitors to the Racecourse (7.30).
"I meet the other players for the first time this afternoon and it was good to be back out on the training pitch again," he said.
"I'm friends with Mark Creighton from our days together at Kidderminster Harriers, so it always nice to see a familar face when you arrive somewhere new."
Indeed, the pair formed a great defensive partnership for the Harriers, which included a club record seven consecutive cleansheets through March 2009, broken only by a 5-1 win at Woking as they looked to equal the Conference record.
"It was strange, we won 5-1 away from home, yet everyone was disappointed we had conceded that goal!" recalled Martin.
They also suffered heartache on the last day of the season when they failed to secure a place in the play-offs, losing 1-0 at home to Kettering Town, a 90th minute striker from sub Ben Wright!
When Kiddy manager Mark Yates was offered the chance to take over at Cheltenham Town, he took Martin with him in the summer of 2010, although it wasn't as straight forward as that.
Because he was under 24 at the time, he was unable to leave Kidderminster as a free agent and Cheltenham could not afford to pay a fee.
"I had to stump up some of my own cash to play for Cheltenham but that's how much I want to be there and to be back in the Football league," said the former Wolves trainee.
"I had two good years at Kiddy and it's a great club, but I always felt I had to make the step up as soon as I could and I got my wish."
The England U20 & 'C' international had made 85 appearances for the Harriers, scoring four goals, before going onto play another 29 times for the Cheltenham, but at the end of the season he was released by the Robins.
He then looked at his options and plumbed for Mansfield Town.
"I wanted to sign for a team with ambition and that's what I saw in them. I spoke to former player Gary Mills about the move and he was nothing but complimentary about the club," said Martin.
Which is exactly as it turned out, with the Stags pushing hard for a play-off place all season, although it was to finally end in disappointment in the semi-finals against York City.
"I have nothing but good memories of the club and the fans," he said. "They were great with me and I'm sorry we never finished what we started last season."
"Now though I move onto another chapter in my career and I'm delighted to have landed at Wrexham."
See Martin in a red shirt on Wednesday evening as the Scottish League Cup winners Kilmarnock visit the Racecourse
Wrexham FC sign defender Martin Riley
by Mark Currie, DPW West, Jul 17 2012
Wrexham FC's Martin RileyWREXHAM yesterday landed their second signing of the summer after defender Martin Riley signed a one-year deal at the Racecourse following his departure from Blue Square Bet Premier League rivals, Mansfield Town.
The 23-year-old centre-back has made more than 120 appearances for the Stags, Cheltenham Town and Kidderminster Harriers in the past four years and Wrexham player-manager Andy Morrell sees him as the ideal replacement for Nat Knight-Percival, who joined Championship side Peterborough United in May.
“Martin's a good age and had a good pedigree with Wolves as a kid, so I'm delighted,” said the Dragons' player-boss.
“I'm pleased to get him because he's had a few other offers. He played against us at Mansfield last season and in their last 16 matches when they conceded 12 goals during a good spell.
“We've got two over-30s at centre half, so he brings a bit of youth to the role which is what we are looking at.
“He's signed for a year and we'll see how it goes. We've obviously lost Nat so we needed a replacement.
“I said I'd look at Stephen Wright in there, which I probably still will, but that just gives us a bit more competition for places and that's what we want.”