Ben Foster has said he is considering whether to continue his playing career at Wrexham next season — one month after coming out of retirement to help the Hollywood-owned team end a 15-year wait for promotion back to the English Football League (EFL).
The former Manchester United and England goalkeeper, who retired at the end of last season following relegation from the Premier League with Watford, signed a short-term contract with the National League club in March after first and second choice goalkeepers Mark Howard and Rob Lainton were ruled out by injuries.
The 40-year-old has since become a crucial figure in Phil Parkinson’s team, saving a 97th minute penalty in the 3-2 win against closest rivals Notts County last month which put Wrexham on course for promotion as National League champions.
And having initially said his return to Wrexham — Foster made his senior debut for the club in 2005 — was a short-term move, Foster said he will now consider whether to continue at the Racecourse Ground next season.
“I haven’t a clue yet [what I will do], I really don’t know,” Foster said. “It’s great to be a man of leisure and freedom and I really enjoyed my time [in retirement]. I had a great time — I really did.
“But what I will say is that I’ve enjoyed this so, so much. This is a special club — Wrexham is a really special club and everybody that plays for it can see it.
“There’s no big-timers. In football there are so many big-timers and there’s none of them in our dressing-room, and that’s the bit of it for me that has made me go: ‘I’ve really enjoyed this so much,’ so I’ll have to think about it. It’s a simple as that.
“You have to. You have to contemplate it, because to be part of this team and Wrexham is a special thing.”
Wrexham manager Parkinson said he is yet to discuss next season with Foster, but added that signing him was as important as signing a top striker.
“Goalkeepers are like strikers,” Parkinson said. “There can be moments which define a season — a striker taking a chance or a goalkeeper making a big save and the Notts County save for Ben Forster will go down in history at Wrexham Football Club.
“When we were signing him, I was thinking — ‘bringing an England international into that group. How is that going to fit?’
“But I’ve got to say he’s been outstanding as a person. His standards in training are amazing and that’s been the biggest thing for me because there is already an element of gamble as we have a very grounded group of people, despite the exposure we’ve had. Ben has just been amazing.
“I just want to enjoy that we’ve had Ben Foster for these games. I don’t want to discuss anything else at this stage, but for him to be at Wrexham as a youngster and get his move to Man United and come back and get promotion, for his family and all he has done in the game, I imagine this will rank up there among his greatest achievements in his career.”