Relatively new Wrexham goalkeeper Ben Foster spoke with CBS Sports Golazo Network’s Morning Footy show on Tuesday about a wide range of topics, including Hollywood owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.
Despite being in the fifth-tier of English Football League’s pyramid, Wrexham is a compelling club here Stateside. The Welsh side has gained a huge following in the United States. In fact, Wrexham’s matchup with Notts County on April 12th had a larger draw on social media compared to Premier League fixtures.
“You can see where your audience is watching from [with YouTube’s analytics]. Typically, the U.S. audience is about 9% [of our total viewers]. It’s jumped up to about 14-15% in the last two or three weeks on all of the vlogs we’ve released. So, there is a definite interest from the USA,” Foster told Morning Footy.
“Even from my perspective being at Wrexham, the amount of American and Canadian fans that we meet outside the stadium daily is outrageous. And they are coming over because they’re so enthralled in all of it.”
McElhenney and Reynolds upgrading all of Wrexham, says Ben Foster
Foster was also asked about the changes at the club since owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney took over. “With the new owners coming in, Rob [McElhenney] and Ryan [Reynolds], they’ve done it so professionally, and they’ve built everything up — just little things like the gym,” said the goalkeeper.
“When they first walked in and saw the gym, it was a shambles. It was basically a medical ball on the floor, and that’s about it. Now it’s a fully functional and professional gym that the lads are in there every day giving it everything they’ve got. The training pitches are so good, honestly. For a non-league team, this is out of this world, really. And just the way that they’re doing it as well. They want to do it properly.”
Goalkeeper sees pros and cons on retirement
Finally, Foster also discussed his future as a professional player. The 40-year-old goalkeeper was signed by the club in March on a short-term deal. He was previously retired from the sport. “Being retired for nine months, it was incredible. It’s only when you retire that you realize that football can be really unsociable,” stated Foster.
“You miss out on so many cool things. You can’t commit to going to parties or birthdays or holiday breaks, because you know you’ve got football at the weekend. So I’ve spent the last 9 months doing all of those things and I’ve had the best time.”
“But I’ve got to admit that I’ve enjoyed these last few weeks. It’s something that I didn’t think I’d miss. When you stand on that football pitch and that whistle goes at 3PM, and the game kicks off, and that adrenalin fills your body again, that is my favorite part of being a footballer and honestly, I’ve missed it a lot. It’s been fantastic.”
Foster and Wrexham will next face Yeovil Town on Tuesday afternoon in Wales. The club is currently leading the National League by just one point over aforementioned Notts County. However, the Red Dragons do have a game in hand over Notts County.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
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