Excellent news - many on here (me included) said we wanted to a clean sweep and it seems the broom is out the cupboard and active
Don’t forget people…All these things were being said about Keates,and the ruthless way he brought in his own backroom staff,and how exciting it was going to be…
Apparently it was on the cards reference ward , as it was his plan to leave at the end of his contract whoever the new manager was, And club have been aware of his decision for some time
So far we have jettisoned 16 ? Interesting but another 3 would have been even better news
Wasn’t it said that Davies and Ward would help with knowledge on certain players. Ward travels around watching the players out on loan the likes of Cockerill Mallett, Vann and Peters so would of had some input especially as Cockerill Mallett has been kept on.
Also has never been interested in taking up any other roles, think he just wants to retire in peace.
JW was a vg summariser on the occasions he was on ifollow commentaries.
True. Bloke is 68 to be fair.
As a mere stripling of 67, I can’t imagine still working.
Davies was Sharp without the clipboard
And the YouTube account…
Hard to be surprised. I think all (except JW) came from leagues below, previous gaffer was sacked, so they became obsolete, as soon as new gaffer had been appointed. Now I think there is some quality, not faint promise of it.
Great news that we have got rid of so many people who have been stealing a living at our club.
I think things definitely needed a refresh. This and the retained list put together represent the kind of refresh we needed.
But we can’t get carried away. The whole football set up is essentially a bunch of strangers many of whom will meet for the first time when we report back. Foundations need laying then there will be some trial and error along the way.
It’s fine to be positive about next season and optimism is always a good default for Walsall fans. But let’s not think we’re going to storm this league. Objective one is still staying out of trouble and not following a path that clubs that look and feel very similar to ours have found themselves toddling down in the last few years.
Next one in ? Briggs’ replacement I suspect
Will be interesting to see what Clarke can implement regarding youth, as it’s perhaps the only part of his CV that isn’t fully formed.
On the most recent One Pod Beyond the Bristol Rovers fan interviewed said DC wasn’t widely heralded for bringing youth players through, preferring to sign younger players and develop them. The players highlighted on the E&S article today (Billy Bodin, Matty Clarke and Rory Gaffney) were all successfully developed by Clarke having started out at other clubs, but they weren’t youth team products.
In a way it links to the general conundrum about how we get decent young players to first team level.
Do we opt for re-building the youth setup and bringing up players in a philosophy-based structure (Rico, Kinsella, Kory) so they are, in theory, ready to play a certain style of football at professional level. Or do we instead focus on picking up players failing to make the grade at the four big academies in the region (Sawyers, Mantom, Forde) and offering them a locally-based opportunity to play League 1/2 football.
And, if those approaches don’t counteract (think Mantom v Kinsella) can we do both?
The way the club, and Clarke, approach this is probably the most critical and intriguing element of the re-build for me.
I’m dead against the continueation of the Keates policy of taking kids on loan from bigger clubs and blooding them. They have no experience or little experience of senior football and it was a disaster.
And if you do get the odd gem, then they simply go back when the loan ends. Whether we bring players through the academy or pick up those released, they must be ours - under contract - so we can build a team over a 2/3 period, before they are sold.
As for the Academy itself, feels great to have our own getting in the first team. Just wonder with our wealthy neighbours now so picky with who they take on, whether it’s more beneficial - and cheaper - just to pick off their cast offs.
Think this is a big element, academy setup (done properly) also strengthens links with the local community, which we need to develop in more than just a player development capacity.
Personally I would go down the route of picking up the cast-offs from the Big 4 local teams plus a few teams we might have connections with. I doubt whether we will pick up many decent kids under 16 as the better ones will go to our neighbours. This might save us a few bob if we just concentrate on older kids - we could use it to run a decent Reserves side.
Not exactly ben churning out worldbeaters from our academy recently though have we?
Not so much the lack of effort on behalf of those responsible for nurturing young pro’s, more perhaps that we are in the centre of an area brimming with Premiership/Championship/ generally bigger clubs than ours, thereby any youngsters showing more than an ounce of talent will be snapped up instantly by these ‘bigger’ clubs that surround us, and kids with ambition will feel more inclined to ‘go for it’ at a bigger more prestigious ‘name’ .
So we are left with the also-ran’s that perhaps might grow to produce something ‘special’. However as we can see the club has seen precious little of such ‘stars in the making’.
Perhaps abandoning the notion of youth set up, and concentrating on picking up possible gems that our bigger neighbours have abandoned as a lost cause might indeed save the club a lot of time cost and energy trying to produce these possible gems ourselves?
Just my opinion. However, very grateful that the dross ‘backroom staff’ that Keates surrounded himself with have been jettisoned at last!