Wrexham manager Gary Mills’ first move into the January transfer window is to land experienced midfielder Simon Heslop, following the expiry of his short term contract with league rivals Torquay United.
The 28-year-old moved to Devon last summer, joining his former manager Paul Cox at Plainmoor initially on non-contract terms and then a contract that expired on New Year’s Day.
Born in York, he came through the ranks with Barnsley, signing his first professional deal with the club in 2005. He made just one first-team appearance during his six-year association with the South Yorkshire side.
During his time at Oakwell, Heslop had loan spells with Kidderminster Harriers (2005/06) and spent the following season on loan with Mills at Tamworth.
There were further loan periods with both Northwich Victoria and Halifax Town in the 2007/08 season, before more temporary spells with Grimsby Town, Kettering Town and Luton Town.
Heslop was in the Kettering side that held Wrexham to a 2-2 draw in September 2009 and then the Hatters team that beat the Dragons 1-0 at Kenilworth Road in March 2010 later that season.
He was released by Barnsley in May 2010, and signed for League Two side Oxford United shortly afterwards, going on to make over 100 appearances for the U’s during a three-year stay.
Leaving the Kassam Stadium in 2013, he switched to League One club Stevenage on a free transfer.
After a year at the Lamax, it was onto Mansfield Town for 2014/15, before heading to the south coast last summer.
Heslop has been a regular with the Gulls since arriving as a triallist in late August, but in doing so missed the first league game at the Racecourse before facing the Reds in the return in December.
He has played twenty times in the league for Torquay, but a sending-off at Kidderminster in September saw him side-lined for three matches.
With family in Ellesmere Port, his move north should be made a little easier as he looks to make his mark with the Reds.
Meanwhile, with a number of loan deals drawing to a close, the Reds are looking to retain the services of goalkeeper Rhys Taylor (Newport County AFC) and winger Danny O’Brien (Wigan Athletic).
This means Joel Logan (Rochdale), John Nolan (Lincoln City), James Caton (Shrewsbury Town) and Taylor McKenzie (Notts County) will be returning to their parent clubs.
In addition, striker John Cofie will be not be offered an extension to his trial period, after signing in November as a free agent and playing in three games, including a start at Tranmere Rovers in the FA Trophy.