Wales return to Wrexham for Gibraltar friendly

Wales return to Wrexham for Gibraltar friendly

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Wales play Trinidad and Tobago at the Racecourse Stadium in Wrexham in 2019
Wales’ won 1-0 in a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago the last time they played at Wrexham’s Racecourse Stadium in 2019

Wales’ autumn friendly international against Gibraltar will be staged at the Racecourse Stadium, their first game in Wrexham since 2019.

The ground is undergoing major renovation following Wrexham’s takeover by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

However, a new 5,500-seater stand will not be completed before the game on 11 October.

Football Association of Wales (FAW) chief executive Noel Mooney said he was “excited” by the return to Wrexham.

“Members of the Red Wall [Wales fans] in the area make an incredible commitment when travelling to the Cardiff City Stadium for our home qualifiers, and hopefully we can give a performance to be proud of against Gibraltar,” he added.

The Racecourse is the world’s oldest international football stadium which is still in use, having first staged a Wales game in 1877 and hosted every home match until 1890.

The ground has been the venue for a record 94 Wales games but has played host to the national side just once in the last 15 years.

After funding was secured from Wrexham County Borough Council in April to redevelop the ground, work is under way to replace the ‘Kop’ terrace with the new stand.

Wrexham's Racecourse Stadium
Redevelopment work at Wrexham’s Racecourse Stadium is not due to be completed until the start of the 2024-25 season.

The expansion will take League Two Wrexham’s home capacity to around 15,600.

The FAW hopes the increase will mean increased opportunities to play international football in north Wales.

“Being born and bred in the Wrexham area, I am incredibly proud to see Cymru returning to the oldest international football stadium in the world,” said FAW president Steve Williams.

“With the commitment of the FAW and the exciting redevelopment work taking place, I’m hopeful this opens the door for further matches to take place in Wrexham across all our national teams and age groups, including our Uefa U19 Euro finals bid for 2026 to celebrate our 150th anniversary.”

The game against Gibraltar – ranked 198th in Fifa’s world list – will come four days before a potentially crucial match for manager Rob Page’s side against Croatia in European Championship qualifying.

Wales are currently fourth in their qualifying group with four points from four games. Third-placed Croatia have four points from just two games while group leaders Turkey have nine points from four matches.

Page’s side travel to Latvia for their next qualifier on Monday, 11 September, four days after a friendly against Korea Republic at Cardiff City Stadium.

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