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Chris Maxwell targets No 1 spot - for Wrexham FC and Wales

Chris Maxwell

WREXHAM keeper Chris Maxwell is out to make the No 1 spot his own – for both club and country.

The 19-year-old knows that pushing Wayne Hennessey and Boaz Myhill for the Wales shirt is a distant dream at the moment – although he is on the right track having impressed in all three of the under-21s’ Uefa Championship matches this year.

Wales currently top their group, having secured a 0-0 draw in Luxembourg followed by a 5-1 win over the same side at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli, then a 4-1 victory over Hungary at Maxwell’s club ground the Racecourse.

Maxwell, from Llandudno, can now look forward to the chance to face Italy at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea next Friday – while back at Wrexham he is also currently first choice, with Sam Russell out until at least next month with a dislocated elbow.

That may change before tomorrow’s Blue Square Premier game at Forest Green, with Wrexham boss Dean Saunders urgently seeking goalkeeping reinforcements after Russell sustained his injury in last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at home to Kettering Town.

But Maxwell, who was between the sticks for Tuesday’s 2-1 reverse at Tamworth, is ready for another chance to stake his claim for the shirt if Saunders relies on him at the New Lawn.

“I was devastated for Sam when he got injured,” said Maxwell. “I’ve trained with him for two months and he’s a really nice lad. But it gives me a chance to show what I can do, and I’ve got to give the manager no choice but to pick me.”

Although he is only just breaking into the Wrexham first team, Maxwell is building a reputation having impressed in pre-season and while on loan at Welsh Premier League side Gap Connah’s Quay during the last campaign.

The former Penrhyn Bay keeper has made the step up to Brian Flynn’s Wales U21s through the age grades, and hopes to continue the upward momentum by one day playing for John Toshack’s senior side.

“The game against Italy on Friday will be a good test and hopefully I’ll do well if selected,” he said. “At the moment all I’m looking to do is win with the U21s and make sure we qualify for the Uefa Championships.

“But Brian Flynn keeps reiterating that John Toshack asks him to give him the nod on players who are doing well, so if one day that’s me I’ll be over the moon – but for now I’ll just keep playing as well as I can.”

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