Wrexham Football Club have confirmed the departure of Dean Keates as manager.
As we reported last night, after appearing not to be in the running for the job a flurry of activity yesterday changed the situation, and Keates subsequently agreed to head south to join his home town club.
Today Wrexham travelled to Woking ahead of their match tomorrow, and Keates went separately to the Bescot Stadium to finalise paperwork.
Late this afternoon Wrexham Football Club have issued the following statement:
“Wrexham AFC can confirm that First Team Manager Dean Keates has left the club to join his hometown team Walsall FC.”
“We want to place on record our appreciation to Dean for his time here as a player, captain and as First Team Manager.”
“Walsall FC approached us and triggered the release clause in Dean’s contract in full, therefore we were obliged to allow Dean the opportunity to speak to the club that he supports.”
“We are in a strong position and our focus remains on achieving promotion to the Football League this season.”
“There are just nine games of the season to go and now more than ever, we need the support of each and every fan of Wrexham AFC to rally around our interim management team of Andy Davies and Carl Darlington, the remainder of the staff and the playing squad.”
“We are fully focused on achieving three points at Woking on Saturday.”
They added: “While we have already begun the search to replace Dean and complete our management team and intend to make an appointment as quickly as possible.”
Walsall also issued a statement at the same time, that includes a quote from Keates that reads: “This opportunity came up for me and it wasn’t something I could let pass by. It’s my hometown and that’s a big thing for me.”
Chief Executive of Walsall Stefan Gamble: “We would like to thank Wrexham for their professionalism throughout this process, and we wish them all the best for the rest of their season.”
Top pic: Wrexham v Chester, the last game of the Keates reign.