Walsall v Colchester – Come Home!

Exile @ 2:21 am Friday 03 September 2010

Colchester are this week’s league guests at the Banks’s and Hutch and the lads are hoping that they won’t find the going as easy as Chesterfield appeared to on Tuesday. Still, this is the league, not a cup knockout, so there’s everything to play for points-wise.

Colchester are only one league place above us, on goal difference, but unbeaten so far, with three draws and a win (Rochdale) under their belts. A quick trawl of the internet reveals precious little about John Ward’s boys, as their official site is slower and worse than ours, with it’s full quota of betting adverts and a promo for a Bee Gees Tribute Night (snigger).

Hutch will probably send out the side that started on Tuesday, although there may be some temptation to tinker with our two-goals-a-game defence a little.

So, with Colcehseter scoring against everyone they’ve played except Sunderland, and us finding the net against everyone except Trampmere, there should be plenty of action this weekend.

It’s at the usual time, in the usual place, and the lads could do with some good support and noise, so get yourselves down there. Don’t forget Midland Bus will be running the usual Saturday Special if you fancy a pint before the game, and they’ll pick up (and drop off!) at the Town Centre, making it easy for you.

I’m picking a 3-2 win, one substition (80 minutes) and no red cards.

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Shuffleboard: Walsall Gamble on Stefan, Leigh

Exile @ 9:30 pm Sunday 11 July 2010

Stefan Gamble, previously financial director, has ben named as Roy Whalley’s replacement as Walsall’s Chief Executive going forward. Roy himself will take a backseat role and concentrate on his duties as commercial director, generating off-field income. As Roy’s angling for a quiet departure, this little reshuffle should come as no surprise to Saddlers regulars. Stefan’s a beanie by trade and his financial acumen will hopefully suit the club in maximising it’s position based on income available from all sources.

One welcome surprise (to most) was the appointment of life-long Saddler Leigh Pomlett to the board. Leigh’s been a fan for 40 years, and his work experience in transport, freight and logistics should have given him a few well-connected contacts throughout Europe. UTS understands he’s been a F2G-based supporter so he’s familiar with some of the more (ahem) rough and tumble fans and their views on the running of the club.

These appointments mark a sea change in Walsall’s management. Last time a director was appointed the announcement was kept under wraps but this time the club’s been upfront, and even better, the director is a Walsall fan with no ties to Leeds-based development consortiums.

One thing that the three have in common is an appreciation of how important fans are to a football club:

Roy Whalley on attendance:
“How far this club goes depends on how many supporters come,”

Stefan Gamble on attendance:
“It’s top of the list. We have to engage our supporter base and that is one of the things we will address from the outset. If we can get them back it doesn’t guarantee us a better season, but it certainly helps.

Leigh Pomlett:
“I’ve been a Walsall supporter for over 40 years.”

Perhaps one of the first things these three could agree on in the brave new world of Walsall FC would be that silencing fans who are critical of some aspects of the club might not be in everyone’s best interests. While one has had his ban rescinded, it would be nice of others were to be treated the same way, having been summarily excluded for the same “crime”. Neil can attend matches next season, now it would be nice if it were confirmed that Darren and Wayne were accorded the same treatment. Fresh season, fresh start, please, Walsall. Let’s have some perspective.

Marshall Amped To Sign For Walsall

Exile @ 11:17 pm Tuesday 15 June 2010

Ex Man City youngster Paul Marshall is Walsall’s first new signing of the Summer, having put his pawprint on a contract for 12 months today.

20 year-old Paul came through the City youth set-up since joining at age 11, and has played for Man City Reserves, with loan spells at Blackpool, Port Vale and Aberdeen. He’s also been to a World Cup, with the England U20 squad in Cairo last year.

Marshall is a 6’1″ left-footed midfielder, and has been played in the middle and on the wing. 20 senior appearances have seen him score one goal – a free kick. He’s confident he can do the business, and apparently is pretty comfortable on the ball. Let’s hope so!

Welcome to Walsall, Paul!

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