Dean Keates pays tributes as Walsall coaches exit
Boss Dean Keates has thanked former coaches Ian Sharps and Steve Hale for the role they played keeping Walsall in League One.
The duo left the Banks’s Stadium last week with Keates keen to appoint his own backroom team.
Sharps, who was first-team coach, has since been replaced by Andy Davies who has been named as the club’s assistant manager.
Hale, meanwhile, saw his short-term deal as goalkeeping coach come to an end after he stepped in following Neil Cutler’s departure to Albion back in January.
“Sharpy has been outstanding since I’ve been in charge,” Keates said.
“It was a difficult conversation I had to have.
“He helped me get my points across.
“He worked really hard, tirelessly, on the training ground to make sure we stayed in League One.
“I can’t thank him enough for his contribution.
“But it’s football, it’s the nature of the beast we’re in.
“It was always the case I wanted to bring Andy in.
“I know where I want to take the football club and I think it’s important I have all my own staff around me
“They know how I operate and I know how they work. I think that’s best to take the club forward.”
Keates also thanked Hale for his work – with his departure leading to speculation club legend Jimmy Walker could replace him as goalkeeping coach.
But Keates said it’s unlikely the 44-year-old will be returning.
“The wheels are in motion and I would expect a new goalkeeping coach relatively soon,” the boss added.
“Steve was outstanding, he came in and worked really well with Robbo (Liam Roberts) and Gilly (Mark Gillespie).
“He was out of contract so it gave me something to look at. It’s important for me to come in every day and be comfortable with the people I’m working with and be used to working with them.
“But I don’t see it being Jimmy (Walker) if I’m honest. Jimmy is one of my best mates but I don’t see it being him.”