Archive for May, 2009

The No News Round-Up 3

Exile @ 10:12 pm Monday 25 May 2009

Proving once more that the world of football never sleeps, here’s more stories from the closed season:

Old Player To Sign?
In a break with tradition, there’s a story doing the rounds that links Walsall to an old England has-been in the twilight of his career. Two sources have told UTS that Michael Owen may have been approached by Walsall.

The old England warhorse is being put out to pasture, and with his legs gone and his scoring boots long since stolen, there may be an ounce of truth in this rumour. Let’s hope the wages aren’t too high or we’ll end up Owen Uncle Jeff more than we can afford.

Old Player Knows When To Leave
Going out on a high, having accomplished his mission impossible with Sunderland’s Premiership survival, Ricky Sbragia reckons it’s time for something new. He’s going to take some time out to consider his next move. How long is Hutch’s contract?

League One Odds
With Gillingham confirmed, the league now has it’s full complement of teams, insolvent or otherwise, and the odds are out. Perennial underachievers Walsall are listed at 9/1 for promotion, comparing favourably with Brizzle, Carlisle and Oldham, but behind Leeds at 4/6, and ahead of poor old Stockport, languishing at 40/1.

Anyone wishing to stake a cheeky tenner could do much better than sticking it on the Saddlers to win the league at (best odds) 50/1. Someone at Ladbrokes has been on the funny stuff, as they’ve got us in at 33/1 for winning.

Club Branches Out
Walsall Council, whose record on planning matters is exemplary and spotless (*cough* Butler’s Passage), think the club may have done a naughty when carrying out some radical pruning on trees outside the Banks’s's’s Stadium to open the new advertising hoarding to the great unwashed on the M6.

A club spokesman defended the action, adding that beforehand, the motorists “couldn’t see the word for the trees”. Well, he might have, if we’d asked, and if he was remotely funny.


The No News Round-Up 2

Exile @ 2:11 am Friday 22 May 2009

A look at the lack of happenings in the dramatic and fast-moving world of closed season football:

Mattis Talks The Talk
Midfielder Dwayne Mattis has spoken out about his ambitions for next season, and before he knows who’ll be with him, he’s bullish about the prospects of promotion! Fighting talk, but very honest too. Dwayne thinks that “All this small club stuff is rubbish”, showing he’s got his head in the right place at least. Let’s hope his belief spreads to the rest of the squad, and the fans, as we move on to…

David Kelly Still Remembers Us!
David Kelly, ex-walsall superstar, has been poked by a journo into offering some words of wisdom. He’s come out with ‘patient’ and ‘realistic’, telling us that there’s some heavyweight teams in League One, that we’re relatively newly-promoted and that we may have some financial constraints. Next week, David discusses what day follows Monday, whether or not the sun will come up and how many hours there are in day.

Old Saddlers News
We’re still waiting to find out how many of our current squad will be ex-Saddlers as, Taundry excepted, they’re yet to put pen to paper. Meanwhile, Andy Tillson is number two to Matty Hale at Weymouth, Eddie Sonko is now jobless after Tranmere made him surplus to requirements and ambitious Richard Money has been linked to the hotseat at that well-known big club, financial giants Port Fail .

That’s all for now!

Tuesday Night All-Stars Match

Exile @ 10:06 pm Monday 18 May 2009

There’s a game at the Banks’s's’s on Tuesday, for those who’ve missed their fix of football fun in the last week or three.

With a 7.30pm kick-off, the game features a Walsall All-Stars XI playing an EasyFit XI in a match to raise funds for Walsall Hospice.

Turning out for the Saddlers is the motley crew of Ron Green, Richard Green, Stuart Ryder, Charlie Ntamark, Paul Jones, Darren Wrack, Chris Marsh, Andy Reece, Mark Rees, Clyde Wijnhard, David Kelly, Dean Smith, Ian Brighwell, Neil Tolson, Steve Winter, Keith Bertschin, Paul Waddington and Rod McDonald.

The game is free, but you’re encouraged to make a donation and/or buy a souvenir match programme (cost: 2 quid). No doubt there’ll be a bar open somewhere in the ground for a pint prior, or during!

The No News Round-Up

Exile @ 1:04 am Monday 18 May 2009

As it’s the Silly Season, we’re leaving most of the rumours on the messageboards, but occasionally there’ll be a story worth reporting. here’s an irregular round-up of the stories round the traps:

Davies Signs up
Richard Davies has signed a contract extension taking him through to next Summer. As a youngster, his will presumably be one of the few deals where an increase is on the table. The other out of contract players are still considering their offers, or exploring their options. They’ve got a couple of weeks before Hutchings’ deadline expires on them.

Westwood on transfer list
Posh have put Chris Westwood on the transfer list following their promotion to the Championship. Can’t see us matching what he’s currently on, after he left his former club for filthy lucre.

Asbo given his marching orders
The Saddlers have released Demontagnac. Having paid him and held his registration in the (forlorn) hope that he could fix himself up with another club, Walsall have finally admitted defeat with one of the most frustrating players to ever pull on the Walsall shirt. Goodbye, Ishy.

Leicester Striker Linked
Walsall are being linked with Barry Hayles, currently of Leicester. The 37 year-old OAP frontman is looking for a club, and we’ve had a reputation for signing ancient journeymen, has-beens and also-rans for a long time. Hayles fits all these categories. He’s also talking to Cheltenham, and we wish them well in chasing his signature.

Saddlers release 4

Exile @ 2:11 pm Tuesday 05 May 2009

Walsall have released Boertien, Hughes, Ricketts and Bacchus.

There’s been rumblings about Hughes and Boertien, but a fair few fans will be surprised at the release of Ricketts, whilst Bacchus never quite had a chance to make a name for himself.

All the best to all these players in their efforts to find another club in these trying times.

The current squad reads: Weston, Gerrard, Bradley, Deeney, Nichols, Mattis, Craddock, Grigg, Westlake, Adkins

Contracts have been offered to: Ince, Gilmartin, Smith, Sansara, Zaaboub, Ibehre, Davies and Palmer

Walsall Annual Awards Night – the winners!

Exile @ 9:56 pm Sunday 03 May 2009

Hot from the UTS table at the awards!

Fans Player Of The Season -
1st Clayton Ince
2nd Ant Gerrard
3rd Troy Deeney

Players Player Of The Season – Clayton Ince

Young Player Of The Season – Manny Smith

Goal Of The Season – Troy Deeney (vs Scunthorpe)

Fans of The Season – Clair Hendy and Nicky King

Congratulations to all!

Walsall 1 Oldham 2

roger6 @ 5:42 pm Sunday 03 May 2009

The 2008-9 season ended in defeat for the Saddlers at Bescot on Saturday, a result which means Walsall finish the campaign in 13th place. The final position was 15 points shy of a play-off berth, and 12 clear of relegation.

If you missed the game catch-up by reading Exile’s excellent live blog of the game:

Live blog coverage from 2.45pm Saturday, or via full screen.

Walsall vs Oldham Athletic Preview

Neil @ 10:51 am Friday 01 May 2009

Well, the season finally draws to its disappointing end tomorrow, although it has to be said that the run of decent away results do hold some promise for next season. Equally, of course, the home results have not been too good, but that in itself should be giving Hutchings and O’Connor some clues as to where their problems are for next season – an inability to break teams down, probably as a result of a non creative central midfield, and too many silly lapses at the back. The priorities for the close season look remarkably like the ones that were there at the start of this season – proper full back cover, a centre back, a right winger and an attacking, creative central midfielder.

Having said all of that, the managerial duo also have some injury problems for the last game of the season against Oldham. The Saddlers have doubts over the fitness of both Jabo Ibehre and Michael Ricketts for the game.

Ibehre picked up a hamstring injury after getting the winner in the win at the Franchise last week, a game which Ricketts missed with an Achilles problem.

Hutchings told the official site: “We’re going to leave it as late as possible to give both players every opportunity to be fit. We have the likes of Alex Nicholls and Josh Craddock who play up front, so it gives me options and plenty of food for thought.”

Ince vs Gilmartin in goal, Palmer vs Boertien at left back, Bradley vs Hughes or Mattis in midfield remain the other major decisions to make.

Stephen Roberts finally underwent surgery on Thursday to rid him of his lengthy back spasms problems, meaning he could be in ready for a return at the start of next season.

Oldham boss Joe Royle will take charge of the Latics for the final time as they aim to end the season on a high.

Royle is still yet to claim a victory in his second stint with the League One outfit but has one more chance before making way for former Darlington boss Dave Penney, who has penned a two-year deal with the club. The 44-year-old led the Quakers to last season’s play-off semi-final and will officially take over at Boundary Park following the game

On-loan left-back Daniel Jones returned to training on Thursday after missing Tuesday’s session with slight ankle pain while second-year apprentice Ryan Brooke could earn a first-team debut.

Winger Chris Taylor, who was recently named in the PFA League One Team of the Year, remains the only absentee as he continues to struggle with an ankle problem.


I have a horrible feeling about this. The weather forecast is that it’ll be warm(ish) and the sun may well be shining and neither side has anything at stake. It could be a typical end of the season waste of time (which means it’ll probably end up 4 – 4 the way my predictions have gone this season). However, it’s more likely that it’ll be soporific and I’ll be missing nothing, as my season is over (I’m off to Greece this weekend)!

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