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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Wrexham In Profile


IT'LL BE more foreign opposition standing in wait for the Potters this weekend - albeit from just over the border in North Wales.

Wrexham are Sunday's opposition for a Stoke City first team squad returning from a tour of the USA and there are a number of familiar faces in their set-up.

Full-back Stephen Wright played 17 games on loan for the Potters during the Club's Coca-Cola Championship promotion season of 2007/08 and he's joined by a number of other former Football League professionals.

Player-manager Andy Morrell has a wealth of experience from clubs such as Coventry City, Blackpool and Bury and has looked to some of his former teams to form his striking partners.

Brett Ormerod has been a thorn in the side of the Potters down the years and he played in the Premier League for the Seasiders only as recently as 2011.

They're joined by Andy Bishop too who signed a two-year contract with the Dragons this summer after scoring plenty of goals for Bury in Leagues One and Two over the last few seasons.

Midfielder Kevin Thornton started out at Coventry and played with Morrell in the Championship there, whilst captain Dean Keates has racked up over 500 senior matches as well.

There are plenty of links between the two clubs, not only the fact that Wrexham are in fact Mark Hughes' home-town club.

Striker Jon Walters played 41 games for the Dragons in League Two during the 2005/06 season, whilst both Ben Foster and Ritchie de Laet enjoyed loan spells at the Racecourse Ground prior to their moves from Stoke City to Manchester United.

First Team Coach Eddie Niedzwiecki notched up over 100 appearances in goal for Wrexham before his move to Chelsea in the summer of 1983.

The likes of Mickey Thomas, Kevin Russell, Jeff Whitley, Sam Aiston and Rob Garret have also played for both clubs.

And whilst there are now four leagues separating the Potters with the Conference side, you don't have to look that far back to when the teams played against each other in competitive fixtures.

Stoke did the double over Wrexham in the third-tier of English football in 2001/02 when Andy Cooke scored winning goals in both 1-0 victories.

In fact the Potters have 14 wins and just one loss to show from all 15 league and cup games against the North Wales outfit.

The sides met three years ago in a similar pre-season game at the Racecourse and Ricardo Fuller was given his marching orders during a hotly-tempered goalless draw. Let's hope it's a lot more friendly this time around.

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