Dean Saunders offers new deals to five Wrexham FC players

WREXHAM manager Dean Saunders played Santa Claus yesterday, offering several of his players extended contracts or improved terms in recognition of their performances for the club since the beginning of the season.

And the Racecourse boss has also cancelled Christmas Day training, subject to the anticipated confirmation later today that the Boxing Day home fixture with Altrincham will be postponed due to the snow and a frozen pitch.

But it will be business as usual on Monday, even though the scheduled trip to Barrow on Tuesday is also extremely unlikely to go ahead.

Midfielder Jamie Tolley and strikers Marc Williams and Mathia Pogba, whose current deals run until the end of the month, have been offered terms until the end of the season and youngster Johnny Hunt’s existing one-year contract has been extended by a further 12 months.

A similar offer has been made to Jay Harris, together with an immediate wage increase that brings him line with his team-mates.

Saunders said: “Jamie has been offered a contract until the end of the season, as has Mathias, and I want to keep Marc Williams as well, but he may well have had offers from other clubs and so I’m waiting to see what happens there.

“As far as Jay is concerned we agreed at the start of the season that his salary would be reviewed at Christmas and we have now also agreed a further 12-month deal, although he has yet to put pen to paper.

“Johnny Hunt is doing very well and is one for the future. He did extremely well in pre-season and, while he has not played too many senior games, he is learning his trade in the reserves and trains with the first team every day.”

The Dragons boss, who off-loaded high earning goalkeeper Scott Shearer to Crawley Town on Wednesday, has also held preliminary talks with Mark Creighton, currently on loan from Oxford United until the end of the month.

“I’m trying to do a deal for Mark, who has 12 months left on his Oxford contract,” added Saunders. “I’d like to keep him here but I understand there have been offers from other interested clubs which he obviously has to consider.”

Explaining his U-turn on plans to stage a training session tomorrow, Saunders said: “If the Altrincham game is called off tomorrow, the players can have Christmas off, but if the game is on they will be in.

“Ever since I became a professional footballer there have been games on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. I have been in on Christmas Day every year, apart from the time I spent with Benfica where there was a winter break.

“There are plenty of pluses to life as a footballer so the odd sacrifice here and there is nothing, and I’m so frustrated that we are unlikely to have a game on Sunday. There’s a great tradition in this country of Boxing Day football.

“Everyone seems to be in a good mood and I used to love playing in those games because there was a different atmosphere.”