Walsall FC boss Dean Smith kicks off talks on new deals

Walsall boss Dean Smith today revealed he has opened contract talks with staff and players as he looks to secure their futures.

Dean Smith
Dean Smith

The Saddlers chief wants to avoid the sort of summer scramble which has often forced the club to build a team from scratch. His No.2 Richard O’Kelly is out of contract at the end of the season with Andy Butler, Will Grigg and Andy Taylor’s deals also expiring.

Chief executive Stefan Gamble confirmed last week Smith, who signed a two-and-a-half year deal in October, was eager to start talks and the manager has now made his move.

“We are starting to discuss things with players and staff,” said Smith, ahead of tomorrow’s League One visit of Yeovil.

“I’m right in thinking that 16 players have made their Walsall debuts this season so it shows it’s been a big turnaround during the summer.

“We want some consistency. I want consistency in terms of performances and to do that you need longevity with players. Hopefully we can do that.”

Smith has been keen to end Walsall’s end-of-season uncertainty but he insisted he couldn’t make his mark until deals from the previous regime had expired.

He said: “It’s been very difficult because players were under contracts which I hadn’t given out.

“You can control the controllables and I can control contracts which are up. I have done that and have awarded contracts where we feel we could put more of a length on them.

“We want some continuity at the club.”

The manager has come under fire from fans after a 15-game winless run continued with a 5-1 battering at Coventry last Saturday.

Smith insisted the club is moving forward but it is a long-term project.

He said: “We said at the start of the season there was a way forward for the club but it was going to be a long process. It’s one we want to get right and we’re striving to do that. While results haven’t been great there’s stuff off the field which is pushing us in the right direction.”

Comments for: "Walsall FC boss Dean Smith kicks off talks on new deals"

WFC

I wonder what players will get given deals, some players we brought in the summer have been good, likes of Featherstone/Brandy/Taylor but some have been poor, likes of Hemmings/Chambers

But hopefully we can get a long over-due win tomorrow

UTS

SAM..

You really saying these players deserve new contracts Smith your a clown..

Bernard Hadley

It is highly unlikely that Dean Smith will be manager next season, so what on earth is he doing in giving out new contracts? No ambitious player would accept an offer from a club that looks as if it is going to be relegated, so the only players likely to sign a new contract are those we should not keep.