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In pictures and video: The Walsall FC open day 2015/6

Staffordshire | Sport | Published:

Walsall fans got the chance to meet their heroes at an open training session held at the Banks's Stadium.

More than 200 supporters both young and old turned out for the annual free event ahead of this weekend's big kick-off.

As well watching the players being put through their paces, fans also got the chance to chat to their idols as well as boss Dean Smith and members of his coaching staff.

Horris Brisbourne, from Rushall, took his 10-year-old grandson Harry to watch the session.

"It's great to be here," he said.

"You don't get to see the players so close up on match days.

"And it takes away that feeling that footballers are set apart from us all - they aren't - they are just normal human beings and on days like this you get to see that.

"It's great to get autographs and also listen to Dean Smith talk.

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"As a fan it's also nice to get a snapshot of training and see how it all works."

Sharon Ryan, from Lichfield went along her 14-year-old son Jack, who is an aspiring goalkeeper.

"I've come down because I wanted to see the goalkeepers in action," Jack said.

"I wanted to see Neil Etheridge and Craig MacGillivray.

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"They are both young keepers and have both looked really good in pre-season.

"I've never been to an open training session before but I've really enjoyed it. It's been great to get up so close to the players."

Steve Davies, secretary of the Walsall Football Supporters Trust, had the day off work so took the opportunity to watch his beloved Saddlers in action.

"I thought this was a great opportunity to come and look at the lads just a few days before the season," he said.

"It's also been nice to see the spirit that exists amongst them.

"I'm now really hopeful for the new season.

"We've got a lot of promising players coming through so we have to hope we can really push for the play-offs."

Boss Smith was delighted to see so many fans attend.

"It's really important the club hold events like this," he said.

"We pride ourselves on being a community based club and it's great fun chatting with the fans.

"It also adds a little bit to the training session for the players. Knowing the fans are watching adds a bit more pressure."

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