Wales' Racecourse return 'brilliant' for Wrexham - Sam Ricketts

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Former Wales defender Sam Ricketts says he is 'surprised' by Hal Robson-Kanu's omission from the Wales squad

Wales' return to the Racecourse Ground is "brilliant for north Wales", said Wrexham manager Sam Ricketts.

The national team have not played there since 2008, but Ryan Giggs' squad held an open training session on Monday.

It is in preparation for their friendly against Mexico in Pasadena, California on 29 May.

Former Wales defender Ricketts said: "It's great Ryan has brought them here, especially for the school kids.

"It's a football passionate area, the only thing is over the last 10 years everyone has had to go down south to watch them train and play."

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Ryan Giggs says he is open to Wales playing in Wrexham again

Ricketts, who won 52 caps between 2005-2014, said it came as a "little bit of a surprise" to him that Giggs had left out Hal Robson-Kanu after cutting his squad from 32 to 23 players.

The West Bromwich Albion forward was a regular under Giggs' predecessor Chris Coleman.

"It shows you need to be playing and need to be playing well to get in the team," said Ricketts.

"No one has got a divine right to be in the squad."

He said the selection heralded a new era of Welsh football, with Giggs "giving the young lads a chance".

"The Welsh philosophy is if you're good enough, you're old enough."

Wales captain Simon Davies clears the ball from Norway striker Erik Nevland during the International Friendly Match at The Racecourse Ground on February 6, 2008 in Wrexham
Wales captain Simon Davies in action against Norway at The Racecourse Ground on 6 February, 2008

Nice blend

Ricketts said Wales have a "great team at the minute" and believes Giggs needs to keep the cycle going of blooding young players.

"You don't want a squad of 28-year-olds, you need to have youth coming in," said Ricketts.

"It's good for the youth, it's good for the older players and in the long term it's good for the future," he said.

"Wales are blessed with some truly world class players, that's why two of them are in the Champions League final."

He added there is a "real togetherness" in the squad at the moment.

"Every time there is a a get together everyone meets up, there's no pull outs," said Ricketts.

"Everyone wants to come and play for Wales, they are proud to represent their country."

Wrexham director Spencer Harris (L) with new manager Sam Ricketts
Sam Ricketts (right) was unveiled as the new Wrexham manager earlier this month

Exciting times

Looking ahead to his three-year-deal as Wrexham boss, 36-year-old Ricketts said it was a "really exciting time and added that player recruitment was well under way.

"It certainly won't be easy, but nothing in life worth doing is ever easy," he said.

"I want players who want to do something in the game, a bit like me coming into my management career.

"I want to be successful, I want to achieve things, I want to go as far as I can.

"I want players with the same attitude.

"You don't want players who are just going through the motions.

"It's trying to work through the players who have got the drive and desire."

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