Archive for July, 2006

UTS Member Names New Signing

neilr @ 1:09 pm Monday 31 July 2006

The defender targeted by Richard Money has turned out to be Newcastle Jets key man Allan Picken. The story was broken by UTS board regular, KJC.

Picken, 24, recently signed a two-year deal with the Jets, but director of football Remo Nogarotto confirmed last Thursday that the club was close to agreeing to a transfer for the former concretor, who has also played for Sydney United.

The transfer was confirmed by the official site just before 2.00 this afternoon, subject to International clearance being confirmed.

Picken is just over 6 feet and a left sided (usually) central defender.

Meanwhile, it looks like we will also be bringing in an attacking player, probably on a season long loan. This follows the news that Bedeau will miss the first 3 or 4 games with an injury picked up in the friendlies.

Money told the Official Site that he is still hopeful of adding to his squad before the weekend.

“I am looking to add an extra bit of spice,” he said. “We have a good balance here already, but possibly need a dribbler who is attack-minded and will help create chances.

We have one or two options in mind and it may be the case that a deal is completed by the weekend”.

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Bonser Slams Merson Loan Policy

neilr @ 7:29 am Friday 28 July 2006

Jeff Bonser has gone one step further than before in the Evening Mail, revealing that the club spent no less than £380,000 pounds last season on loan signimgs.

Bonser had said earlier this year that the figure was over £300,000, but now has admitted the full amount as being more than the fee we were rumoured to have received from Leicester for Matty Fryatt and does not, of course, include the amount for the panic permanent signings such as Barrowman and Devlin. He also, in the process, has admitted that we did, indeed get a £350,000 initial payment for Fryatt.

Former Manager Paul Merson’s policy always seemed to be, when in trouble, bring in another player, leading to the use of some 49 last season.

This lays to rest the accusation levelled by some that Merson was not backed by the Chairman, as he clearly was, but it has, at least, lead to a change in policy this season under new Manager Richard Money.

“We had far too many and I allowed it. I admit I have made some drastic mistakes on the football side over the last three years. But that’s one we won’t be making again.

“I’m not knocking loan play-ers themselves. They come out because they are not in the first team at their club and some of them, like Grant Smith and Michael Leary, showed an excellent attitude at Walsall.

But they can’t possibly have the affinity with the club that players contracted here have.

From now on we’ll look at loans as what they should be – an emergency option. The only exception being if an up-and-coming player from a Premiership club is available for a longer-term loan.”

It’ difficult to disagree with the assessment that very, very few of the loanees made any real impact on the season (Gillett, Timm – who reputedly cost us some £40,000, Leary) and, with a couple of exceptions (Smith, Mills), the money was completely wasted.

Experiment At Worcester

neilr @ 9:00 pm Thursday 27 July 2006

Richard Money decided to put out an experimental side at Worcester City tonight – leading to the Saddlers trailing by a single goal at half time.

We lined up:

Kevin Poole (yes, the ex Bolton keeper – just turned 43), Westwood, Dann, Roper, Luckett, Bedeau, Bradley, Tom Taylor, Demontagnac, Proudlock and Constable.

Money is obviously using the game as a chance to look at some fringe players and one or two trialists.

Who Luckett is, we have no idea!

Money – Walsall Capable Of Achieving.

neilr @ 11:48 am Thursday 27 July 2006

New Manager Richard Money has been talking about his reasons for coming back to the UK and picking up the reins following the sacking of Paul Merson.

In an interview with the PFA, published on their website, Givemefootball.com, he says of the club:-

“Everything is here for you and it gives the manager a chance, which is all you can ask for. It was a big decision to come back to England, so it had to be with a club that I felt was capable of achieving something”.

The rest of the article, in which he also talks about his perception that fitness and the level of performance were what was letting us down, can be found on:-

http://www.givemefootball.com/display.cfm?article=8786&type=2

Dobson\’s Grit

neilr @ 8:38 am Thursday 27 July 2006

The reason for Dobbo’s absence against Camarthen has been revealed – he’s broken his hand.

The former Brentford midfielder has looked impressive in his appearances for the Saddlers pre-season, so it came as a little surpise that he was missing in Wales on Tuesday.

Manager Richard Money has revealed, however, that the tigerish midfielder broke a bone in his hand in the pre season game gainst Aston Villa and that was the reason for his absence.

Dobson is expected to play once the season starts, however, wearing a lightweight cast.

Money Lender? Not Likely

neilr @ 7:22 am Tuesday 25 July 2006

Despite his problems for the first day of the season, with the suspension of Westwood and Roper, Richard Money is determined not to repeat one of Merson’s huge mistakes from last year.

He has told the Evening Mail that he is determined to ensure that he “keeps his powder dry” as far as loan signings are concerned, unlike the position we found ourselves in last year at times.

While he says that he is willing to use the loan system if it proves necessary, it should not be the norm for the club.

“What I want to do here is build a squad of 20 outfielders and two goalkeepers,” said Money, “all capable of playing in the first team and all with the cohesion and understanding of what we are trying to achieve.

Sometimes with loan players that’s difficult so it’s not a road we are going down at the moment.
Loan signings can be effective, especially if they come for a longer spell, but now is not the time for us. It’s something we will look at if the need arises.”

There is the possibility of another permanent signing in the meantime, however:

“There might be someone else coming in,” he said. “I’m very pleased with the signings we have made so far but the chairman was hurt by what happened last season and I think, if I believe I can get a player who will really improve us, he will find the money.”

The Saddlers face three more friendlies this week in their attempt to finalise teram and tactics for the season – at Carmarthen tonight, Worcester on Thursday and Stafford on Saturday.

Money – More Signings May yet Come

neilr @ 10:17 am Monday 24 July 2006

Despite the presence of Cameroon born Guy Madjo in the side at Rushall over the weekend, the 22 year old former Bristol City and Forest Green striker is not one of Richard Money’s main priorities at the moment.

Although it seems that he wants to reinforce the attack still further, if possible, the centre of attention now may well be at the back.

He has been speaking in the Press of the need to bring in reinforcements at the back for the first game of the season, when both Ian Roper and Chris Westwood will be suspended. His concern over the situation is such that he says that neither player will be taking part in the remainder of the pre-season programme, as he looks for alternatives for the Rochdale opener.

Those options do include another signing, probably on loan, although a permanent one may be possible if it’s an adaptable player.

Some more information has turned up about Madjo, who has represented Cameroon at all levels up to and including under 21.

He has work permit problems when he first came to this country and ended up playing at Petersfield Town in non League, where he had an admirable goal scoring record. He then had trials with Port Vale and Millwall, before ending up at Bristol City, whoi then released him to Forest Green.

Zigor Comes Home – For An Interview

neilr @ 9:10 am Saturday 22 July 2006

Former Saddler’s favourite Zigor Aranalde has given an interview to the Official Website, warning that promotion will not be easy to achieve this season.

The Spanish favourite says that, during his promotion season with Carlisle, he found that it is a tough division.

“You have to earn the right to play and the pace of the game is a lot quicker than that in The Championship and League One”, he told the OS.

“The key to succeeding is to work hard and then, if you have the quality, it will shine through.”

He goes on to say that he was disappointed to see us relegated last season as, despite the squad changes, he still has a lot of friends at the club and was lookign forward to visiting Bescot with Carlisle.

“I had five great years at Walsall and loved every minute of my time there. League Two will be hard work but I will be keeping my fingers crossed that they have a good season”.

Bescot Now Hector\’s House

neilr @ 10:19 am Friday 21 July 2006

As we predicted earlier this week, Richard Money has made another striker signing, in the shape of Hector Sam.

The Trinidad and Tobago born player, who missed all of last campaign with Port Vale after suffering a broken leg, has performed well in the pre season games while he has been on trial and has linked up particularly well with the other new striker signing, Martin Butler.

They have the look of a partnership which will give second division defences a lot of problems this season, hopefully, with a good mixture of guile and pace, as witnessed by the way they set up the chance for Butler to score against the Albion.

It’s a big welcome to Hector!

Money – Sam Good Enough

neilr @ 7:15 am Monday 17 July 2006

It’s being reported that Walsall are about to make a contract offer to former Port Vale and Wrexham striker, Hector Sam.

Sam was originally bought over to Britain from Trinidad and Tobago as a raw youngster by Wrexham (who paid £125,000 for him) and took some time to settle into English (or Welsh, in this case) football. When he did, however, he became a more than useful member of the team, following the departure of Andy Morrell to Coventry.

His record of 12 a season in his last two seasons finally earned him a Bosman promotion to Port Vale, but that turned out to be a disaster, when he broke his leg pre season and missed an entire year of football.

He has played two friendlies for the Saddlers on trial and showed, on Saturday, signs of a developing partnership with new signing Martin Butler.

It has been reported that Richard Money thinks he has now seen enough to offer the striker a contract, and, judging by his performance against players plying their trade in the Premiership a few weeks ago in the Ian Roper testimonial, it is difficult to disagree with that assessment.

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