A possible return to Walsall for Julian Gray was today thrust back in the spotlight after his surprise appearance for the club’s reserves.
The 33-year-old winger turned out for the Saddlers’ second string yesterday in a 5-3 win at Wigan Athletic.
Gray, who scored 14 goals in 61 appearances between 2010 and 2011, has been training with his former club for the past month.
The former Birmingham City winger is understood to be keen on securing a contract and boss Dean Smith has, when questioned, refused to rule out the possibility he could be offered one.
Walsall secured clearance for him to play in yesterday’s game and when commenting about Gray’s current situation afterwards, assistant boss Richard O’Kelly said a decision was yet to be made and hinted there could still be a future for him at the Banks’s Stadium.
“It was good for him to get 90 minutes under his belt and obviously decisions have to be made on both sides, but he played his part in the win,” he said.
Gray has been without a club following his departure from Cypriot outfit Nea Salamina Famagusta over the summer.
Teenage winger Kieron Morris bagged a brace as Walsall’s reserves claimed their first win of the Central League campaign.
Striker Troy Hewitt was again on target after netting his first senior goal against Wolves in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and there were also strikes from Ben George and centre-back Matt Preston, the latter making his return after a lengthy injury lay-off.
Hewitt in particular will be hoping to feature when the Saddlers travel to Crewe in League One on Saturday, looking to snap a five- game winless run.
But while much focus has fallen on the new-look forward line in recent weeks, veteran full-back James Chambers believes every player must stand up and be counted.
The 32-year-old said: “When people talk about match-winners your eyes always go to the strikers.
“But I said at the start of the season we have match-winners in our squad, whether it be midfield, players, defenders or the goalkeeper.
“There are going to be spells when everyone has to step up and be that winner for us.”