Scott Laird is happy to be a guiding light at Walsall
Defender Scott Laird admits he is enjoying his role as an elder statesman in Walsall's squad.
The Scunthorpe loanee, who is 28 years old, is one of the most experienced players in the Saddlers dressing room having amassed almost 400 professional appearances.
Walsall's squad is primarily made of younger players with the likes of Amadou Bakayoko, Andreas Makris and Kieron Morris all at the start of their careers.
But Laird is enjoying passing on his experience to his younger team-mates.
"We have got a young, thriving team and I try to guide them as best I can," he said.
"I really enjoy being one of the more experienced players and getting my points across.
"It's very important to do it in the right way because football has changed a lot – even since I made my debut.
"When I was coming into the game, the older pros could be quite tough. They would do things that you're not allowed to do these days.
"But the lads here are great to work with because they want to learn.
"They want to get better and they are happy to be told where they need to improve."
Laird said his experience at Walsall may see him going into coaching when his playing days are over.
"I broke my leg a couple of years back and that really opened my eyes," the full-back said.
"The older pros always used to say to me make sure you are ready for life after football.
"When you are a kid you think to have got loads of time. But you don't. It goes quick and is a very short career.
"I'd like to stay in football and being here I have learnt so much to take into my future footballing career if I want to become a coach."
Laird also admitted he was pleased to hear boss Jon Whitney wants to extend his loan from Scunthorpe with talks expected to begin soon.
"Hopefully we can sort something out with Scunthorpe," he added.
"The gaffer has made it clear to me he wants me to stay."
"The fans have been brilliant with me and I feel I am playing well so hopefully I can continue that into the new year."