Archive for June, 2007

Here Come The Trialists!

neilr @ 2:54 pm Saturday 30 June 2007

Richard Money gave a little more of the game away in his Press conference yesterday. It seems that the queue of trialists at Walsall is no longer just a thing of the past!

He was talking about the fact that he saw the pre-season games against the “lesser” clubs were going to be a more important indicator of our prospects next season than the Villa and Blues matches, something which discerning fans probably agree with. The telling point came right at the end, though.

He said “I know they are showpieces for the supporters but Birmingham and Aston Villa are the two games I am least concerned about.

We want to do as well as we can in those two matches, but the other games will give us a better indication of how we sit going into the season.

We play Worcester in our first match, then we are at Stafford and then we are at Halesowen and we will go to those places with sides of equal ability – young players mixed in with senior players.

And there might be one or two trialists in there as well.”

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Walsall Have “Bids In”

Neil @ 1:45 pm Friday 29 June 2007

The Evening Mail says that Walsall currently have bids on the table for two players.

Some fans have been expressing disappointment that the only signings so far this summer have been former players Danny Sonner and Paul Hall, but Richard Money has been explaining his reasoning to the Evening Mail.

“A lot of our supporters look upon this as a Championship club when history suggests it’s probably not. There is a tremendous expectation on the players here”, he told the paper.

“We lived with it last year but the players that we bring in are going to have to be able to handle the criticism that comes.

One of the reasons we brought Paul and Danny back is that they have both played here before. They know how badly this club wants to get back in the Championship and how tough that task is.

When the supporters start to criticise you need tough people on the pitch to block that out and be able to play.”

However, he says again that he needs another “four or five players”, and resilience will be a key component in all of them. “This is a tough place to play,” Money said.

What will cause discussion on the message boards is Money’s admission that the club has “bids in for two players”, although he gave no indication as to who these were (although UTS have reason to believe Darren Byfield to be one).

He also confirmed that he did speak to Jack Lester before the former Nottingham Forest player joined Chesterfield.

“We spoke to Jack but genuinely felt he wasn’t the right fit for us.

“He has signed a three-year contract with Chesterfield and good luck to him but it had nothing to do with the fact that he was offered more money or a longer contract. We just felt that he didn’t quite meet the criteria we want.”

Bedeau Returns South to Torquay

Neil @ 11:27 am Wednesday 27 June 2007

Tony Bedeau’s unhappy stay at the Banks’s Stadium has been bought to and end.

In hardly the most surprising of moves, the winger cum striker has returned to the club he served well for so many seasons before his injury ruined move to the Saddlers, Torquay United.

Bedeau missed virtually all of the pre season last year with various injuries and never recovered the form that had made him such a success at Torquay.

He has signed a 12 month contract with the Gulls, according to the BBC.

Money Contract Shock!

Neil @ 12:14 pm Thursday 21 June 2007

Chairman Jeff seems to have had a change of heart over the length of the contracts he is prepared to offer.

Hot on the heels of the three years offered to promising starlet Scott Dann yesterday comes the news that Richard Money has been given a three year extension to his contract.

This is a shock from the “who’s Richard Money?” days of twelve months ago, as the man who has guided the club to only the second offer in its history has had his future secured.

Anything like a successful season for the Saddlers this year will make Money a very marketable commodity indeed and this has to be seen as a positive step in trying to get some stability at the club.

A secondary point is, of course, that transfer activity might well increase now the Manager has got his own contract negotiations out of the way.

Scott Signs On

Neil @ 12:33 pm Wednesday 20 June 2007

Walsall have made possibly their most significant signing of the Summer. Scott Dann has signed the contract offered – and it’s for three years.

The highly promising Liverpool born centre back was one of the big successes of the Saddlers’s season and fans had been hoping that he would be signing his new contract. What has come as something of a surprise is that the club has gone the whole hog and offered him three years, a contract he has duly signed.

Richard Money has gone so far as to say that he thinks this will be one of the club’s most significant signings this summer.

This also shows that the club is quite prepared, contrary to the views of some people, to offer players lengthy contracts, but only when it is right for the club to do so. Dann has shown in the last season that he has the potential to be worth the risk.

Swansea – What A Rubbish Draw!

Neil @ 1:43 pm Wednesday 13 June 2007

The Saddlers got their usual away trip in the first round of the Carling Cup today. What makes that even worse, it’s a trip to Swansea on a mid week evening, to face one of the tougher team we could have got.

It seems that Walsall’s run of bad luck in this competition is continuing, although it is, at least, a team in our own Division this time!

The tie will take place in week commencing the 13th August.

Coach Sought

Meanwhile it seems that Richard Money agrees with UTS, when we said towards the end of last season that he needed a coach to take some of the strain.

The Express and Star says that we are looking for a number two, something which will cause even more speculation around the club during the Summer, with names like that of ex hero Martin O’Connor being banded about.

Money himself says, however, that discussions are at an early stage and they don’t have any names in mind.

Come Back – All Is Forgiven!

neilr @ 7:20 am Monday 11 June 2007

The rumour machine has been working overtime yet again, this time bringing up on of the “usual suspects”. The only trouble is, word on the “streets” is that the rumour is right this time.

We have known for a couple of weeks that former Saddler, Trotter and England International Michael Ricketts has been talking to the club and informed opinion now says that we are very close to a deal.

The player achieved some infamy last season, after being released by Southend in acrimonious circumstances and amidst talk of him not training and being over weight. He went on a strict fitness regime in order to get himself back on track and finished the season in a very good spell with Preston North End. The Lancashire club are now looking at rebuilding for another assault on promotion, though, and he wasn’t kept on.

Ricketts, of course, had an extremely mixed relationship with the Walsall fans first time around, especially when he left for a club (Bolton) we had been playing in the same Division. His goals, however, managed to earn them promotion the following season and stay in the Premiership the year after that. Since then, he career has gone downhill, but he certainly is more than good enough to score plenty of goals at this level and Richard Money has already proved his ability to get the best out of players.

Personally, I’ve got fingers and everything else crossed for this one!

Another One To Come Home?

neilr @ 5:42 am Tuesday 05 June 2007

With rumours abounding on the message boards, it’s time for UTS to exclusively reveal that one of the strikers we are looking to bring in is yet another “old boy” – none other than Cardiff hero Darren Byfield.

Byfield has asked to be released from his Millwall contract and wants to move back to the Midlands and has been mulling over an offer from the Saddlers.

He was an integal part of the Millwall team last season, having netted 16 goals in 28 League games and would be a more than welcome addition to the team, if we are able to pull this one off.

Byfield and Jamelia

Forest and Dons Players Named As Targets

neilr @ 6:53 pm Friday 01 June 2007

One of the rival fan sites and the Walsall Advertiser have revealed what members of the message board on here have known for over a week, that Nottingham Forest striker Jack Lester and former Wolves and Crystal Palace right back Jamie Smith are two of the players we are talking to.

The pacy 31 year old striker has always been a handful, but never quite managed to break through at a higher level. He has managed 13 goals in 43 starts for Forest in this spell, in a team where the strikers have been changed with monotonous regularity.

His most successful stint anywhere, however, came at his previous club. Sheffield United, where he found the net 12 times in 26 starts.

He was at Notts Forest again before that, having started out at Grimsby Town.

Smith has lately been at the Franchise and Bristol City, but the Birmingham born 32 year old made his name with Wolves, Palace and Fulham in a loan spell. He is a good, “proper” full back who also knows how to get forward and who, with Ian Roper, is quite capable of giving the young defence that experience it needs.

Walsall Turn Green!

Neil @ 3:51 pm Friday 01 June 2007

Boston United’s former Lincoln striker Francis Green has told the local paper that he has had talks about a transfer with both Walsall and Macclesfield. The 5 foot 9 inch pacy striker was originally at Peterborough, before Lincoln paid £75,000 for his services, then he went to the Pilgrims on a free, after being on loan there.

Green admits he is flattered to have caught the attention of League Two champions.

“After not being paid for three months, Boston are in breach of contract, so I’m looking elsewhere,” he said.

“I’ve got nothing concrete yet, but Walsall and Macclesfield have shown a bit of interest and I’m hoping to have talks with them soon.
I must admit, Walsall is a bit of surprise with them being in League One, but it would be a great move for my career.

I think I had a good game against them last season, which maybe helped.

Green’s goalscoring record is modest, with just 4 in 35 starts for Boston and 14 in 51 starts for Posh and his is not one of the names circulating as a player we are actually talking to at the moment.

Francis Green

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