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SEVEN years on and Clayton Ince looks set to finally make his Racecourse Ground bow on Saturday as The Saddlers travel to Wrexham.


The 34 year-old stopper spent nine months with The Red Dragons when he first arrived in Britain back in 1999 but, due to work permit troubles, never actually made a senior appearance for the Welsh outfit.

Since then he has gone on to make over 150 appearances in the Football League. However, despite turning out for the likes of Crewe and Coventry, he has never had the chance to play at the ground where his professional career (almost) began. Until now.

"I'm really looking forward to it, he explained. "It seems a long time ago since I was at Wrexham but I have good memories of my time there.

"Wrexham were great to me really. They let me train and play in practice matches and those nine months really helped me to get used to playing football over here.

"I was used to playing in the Caribbean and you don't need me to tell you that it's a lot different there to here!"

In fact, the Trinidad & Tobago International was the first Caribbean player to be on the books of a Welsh club and, as he proudly revealed, he played a major role in bringing the likes of Dennis Lawrence, Carlos Edwards and a certain Hector Sam to the country.

"Because I knew about guys like Dennis, Carlos and Hector I was able to give people like Joey Jones at Wrexham a bit of a tip-off.

As Hector will tell you, my agent went to see Carlos play and brought Hector over and Wrexham was where we first became team-mates even though I was just training and playing practice matches."

Despite never making a senior appearance, Ince admits that he is indebted to Wrexham for giving him his first taste of life on these shores. He still has a number of friends at the club but for a couple of hours at least those friendships will go out of the window.

"I'll meet up with a few of the guys after the game and have a drink and a chat but I'm a Walsall player now and the most important thing on Saturday is that we win."

The Saddlers travel to Wales on the back of their first home League defeat of the season but Ince is convinced that there is enough character in the dressing room to bounce straight back.

"The Swindon defeat was a bit of a reality check for us. It showed us that if we're not on our game, we'll get punished and that's a good thing.

"Losing is not a nice feeling and we don't want to have that feeling on Saturday.

"It's a strong group and we're determined to bounce back.

"Wrexham have had some good results at home this season. It will be a tough game but we've got to go there and show them why we are top of League Two."