Wrexham star striker Paul Mullin has opened up on what life is like at the most famous non-league club, and says Hollywood owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds are regularly in touch with the players.
The duo took over the Welsh side in November 2020 and signed Mullin the following summer after a record-breaking season where he scored 32 goals in 46 games for Cambridge United.
GOAL asked Mullin how much contact he actually has with McElhenney and Reynolds, and the striker was happy to give us the lowdown on the two celebrity owners.
"They are very accessible. They said that to me, if you ever want a chat or to speak to us, you can do. They do keep in touch with all the lads. They do give us messages throughout the season, after most games. They like to keep in touch, ask how the family is, ask how my little lad is, which is very good," he said. "They really care about the club and want to do the best they can. Obviously a big part of that for them is making sure that the players and staff feel like they are worthy to the club and equal to them – that’s how they make everyone feel."
The presence of the Hollywood duo means that Mullin has found himself in the spotlight at Wrexham, something he admits took a little bit of getting used to following his move.
"At first it’s a bit different – you walk out the changing room and there are cameras there and sometimes if the owners come over, there is a bit of hysteria around the place and pandemonium at times, but as a player it’s enjoyable," he explained. "You go to work everyday and it’s exciting for something new to happen that many clubs don’t get opportunities like we’ve had here. You get introduced to things that people never thought they would be introduced to. It’s enjoyable and the owners always make us feel as comfortable as we can, in situations they are there if we need them and it’s great playing for them. But we focus on the football and let everybody else talk about the Hollywood actor and the Hollywood hysteria around the club."
Wrexham are currently top of the National League, the fifth tier of English football, and hoping to win promotion. The Welsh side are three points clear of Notts Country, having played a game in hand, but Mullin is refusing to get carried away.
"For the set of lads it’s all about one game at a time, the old cliché. If you do manage to get out of the league, then it’s always one step at a time," he said. "I’m pretty sure the owners and the fans get carried away with things like that and look towards the future but this club, if they could get out of the National League this season, then it has got everything in place to take off and progress forward. Who knows how high they could end up going?"
The presence of the owners and their ability to invest in the club provides extra motivation for the players, but Mullin says that the supporters remain the driving force behind their push for promotion.
"We play for ourselves, but ultimately we play for the fans that come into the stadium every week. The owners at every club are obviously important because they bankroll the club and they keep the club going, they have really high hopes for Wrexham, but we play for our families first and foremost and then the fans secondly and the owners are part of what comes after that," he explained. "They are great owners to play for, we really couldn’t wish for better and I’m pretty sure the fans feel the same, but we go out every week to give our best and try to reflect the community, really work hard and hopefully it gets us wins and progress in cups and three points every week. This year we have managed to do quite well at it, but there’s a long way to go yet."
The added scrutiny which has accompanied the arrival of McElhenney and Reynolds at Wrexham has shone a greater spotlight on Wrexham, but Mullin explained why his family life means he doesn't feel the pressure on the pitch.
"It’s football. I don’t mind pressure. There is no greater pressure than bringing up an autistic child so football doesn’t really matter to me in that aspect, it’s a game of football. You go out to enjoy it. Football is a welcome relief, you get to go out and enjoy it and play like you did when you were a child again," he added. "Pressure, if you haven’t got that in your job then you’re not doing the right job or you’re not successful in it. Pressure is a thing in every job, it’s just made a big thing of in football for some reason."