FOR most professional footballers offered a contract at a new club, there is much to consider.
The wage must be right, there will almost certainly have to be a guarantee of first team action, and the club’s ambitions need to match those of the player.
But for former Glasgow Rangers player and part-time preacher Marvin Andrews, the decision to come to Wrexham was very simple – he just asked God.
The 34-year-old Trinidadian, who has won more than 100 caps for his country, will join the likes of countrymen Dennis Lawrence, Hector Sam and Carlos Edwards in turning out for the club.
And, while the 6ft 6½in tall Lawrence was on hand to give advice and recommend Wrexham to Andrews, it was the verdict of an even bigger presence that led him from Scotland, where he had been playing most recently for Hamilton Academical and Queen of the South, to North Wales.
He reveals: “I was praying and asking God and Wrexham came up.
“That’s the main part of my life. Without God I wouldn’t be playing professional football. I prayed and God directed me here.”
In 2005 Andrews returned to first team action at Rangers just weeks after suffering a career-threatening knee injury.
The cruciate ligament damage should have put him out of the game for at least four months.
However, Andrews refused medical treatment from his club and instead trusted that God would see he was restored to full health.
Incredibly, he returned to competitive action the following month.
As a member of the Zion Praise Centre in Kircaldy he believed a higher power would see him through to recovery.
Many might dismiss the idea of faith healing but, as Andrews puts it: “God is the main thing in my life. With everything I do, I consult God.”
More to the point, he is still playing today at an age when many professionals may have already retired due to persistent injuries.
And, when not turning out or training with Wrexham, he plans to return to Scotland on a regular basis to fulfill his role as a part-time preacher at the Zion Praise Centre.
He said: “I’m still linked to that church – I preached on Friday and am preaching on Thursday. I’m a part-time minister.
“It balances equally well – neither (football or church commitments) get in the way of each other.
“There are lots of games here so it will be a case of balancing it.”
Currently, Andrews claims to be in great physical shape.
He said: “I’m coming to the later stages of my career now, we’ll have to see how it is but I still love playing football.
“Fitness-wise it is good. My knee is fantastic, and that is not going to be a problem.”