Backroom staff changes


All change all change !

Walsall FC can today confirm a number of changes to the club’s backroom staff.

Marcus Stewart and Brian Dutton have agreed to join the club as Assistant Coaches. Brian will also assume the role of Professional Phase Development Coach.

Both men worked with new Saddlers boss Darrell Clarke for several years at Bristol Rovers.

Former Sunderland striker Stewart, 46, was first team coach at Exeter before joining Rovers as a development coach in 2012 and served as Clarke’s number two during their rise to League One.

Dutton, 34, was handed the captaincy at Salisbury by Clarke, who brought him to Bristol Rovers in the role of Assistant U23 Squad Coach in March 2017 before moving on to First Team Coach.

First Team Coach Andy Davies , Goalkeeping Coach Michael Oakes and Strength & Conditioning Coach Nick Barnett have all left the club, as has Chief Scout Gary Jenkins , who will be taking up a similar position at Bradford City.

John Ward will also be leaving the club when his contract expires at the end of June. We thank everyone for their hard work and effort during their time at the Banks’s Stadium.

In the Academy, we can confirm that Academy Manager Graham Biggs has left the club and Mark Bradley will return to his role as First Team Strength & Conditioning Coach after 12 months with the Academy.

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We needed a cull of players - but also the useless backroom staff across the club.



Didn’t expect Ward to go.



A new broom…welcome to all the newcomers. Lets hope it really is the start of a era. UTS



Marcus Stewart certainly knows where the back of the net in. Played to an impressive standard. Finished second top scorer in the Premier League one season.

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I was always thinking this might happen.

I might have made this up, but I remember reading that DC and You ads fell out, or at least DC made some comments post John Ward leaving Bristol Rovers that weren’t very commending…



Ward and Clarke didn’t see eye to eye when Ward moved upstairs at Rovers.
They hardly spoke to each other after Ward left so no surprise to see him leaving the club now Clarke has arrived.

Tbh I don’t know what Ward actually did for the club whilst he was here.



Went downhill for Ward once Smith left. Youth set-up is in terminal decline and whatever support he was offering as a makeshift DoF wasn’t working.



“Terminal” ? I hope not!!



Good to see Davies and Oakes have left.

Both up there with Sharps for how little contribution they gave



Wonder how Newcastle fan Andy Cook will get on with former Sunderland favourite Marcus Stewart…



Yep always struggled to understand what Ward actually brought to the club, seems to of had an easy ride over the years.



Marcus Stewart is pretty well respected at this level. I’ve heard him in a few interviews and he’s come across really well.

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It’s no Biggy?



Interesting arictle here about Brian Dutton. Mentions Clarke as having his own database on thousands of players which he uses to single out potential signings.

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I like ruthless.

Ruthless and refocus on actual results. Do your job well or depart. Been too comfortable for far too many for too long.

Very few players have transitioned from youth to first team set up under JW, don’t know if this is a reflection on him, but not a great record.

Was frustrated throughout last season at our lack of professionalism at half-time and the start of each half. While other teams were taken through drills and physically reminded they had a job to do and focus on. Our lot kicked a ball about and watched on. Hopefully Mark Bradley will bring back some of the former.



The Coaching Cavalary has arrived then. Don’t know too much about Dutton but Marcus Stewart will certainly teach our strikers a trick or two, he was a fantastic striker in his day. Just need a GK Coach and Chief Scout in now then as regards to the first team staff.



Very welcome changes, great to see all the backroom deadwood removed. Also agree about the amateur approach regarding half time kick about when our heroes just kicked the ball about, no drills or any sign of professionalism it was embarrassing.



when’s Jimmy coming back?

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Biggy Smalls!

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