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Dean Keates: Michael Oakes will bring 'experience' to Walsall

By Jamie Brassington | Walsall FC | Published:

Boss Dean Keates declared new goalkeeping coach Michael Oakes will bring ‘great experience’ into his backroom team.

Michael Oakes in action for Wolves

The former Wolves and Villa goalkeeper, aged 44, is the latest coach Keates has brought in.

His backroom team is undergoing a rebuild after former coaches Ian Sharps and Steve Hale departed earlier this month.

Oakes will join Andy Davies who was recently named the club’s new assistant manager in the new-look set up.

Keates said: “I’m pleased to be able to bring Michael in.

“He’s a young, talented goalkeeper coach who I know from my time at Wrexham.

“Andy and I worked closely with him and he’s another piece of the jigsaw. He had an excellent playing career and brings with him great experience.”

Oakes replaces Hale, who was the former goalkeeping coach. Hale only had a short-term role after stepping in for Neil Cutler, who left to join Albion in January.

But Keates thanked Hale and Sharps for their role in keeping Walsall in League One last season.

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Oakes will be boosted in his new role having previous experience already working under both Keates and Davies at Wrexham.

He enjoyed a 16-year professional playing career where he made more than 250 appearance in the Football League – with 199 at Wolves and 53 at Villa.

He was also capped at England Under-21 level.

Oakes retied in 2008 where he took up a coaching position at Wrexham until 2015.

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And he returned there for a second spell last term before taking on his new role at Walsall.

He joins Keates, who has returned to lead Walsall having previously been a player there – making 156 appearances as a midfielder from 1995 to 2002.

Keates was appointed as manager in March, after previous manager Jon Whitney was sacked by the club.

He was the Saddlers number one target and the club agreed to pay a compensation package to Wrexham to release him from his contract.

Keates will continue shaping his squad for next season over the summer as they prepare for the 2018/19 campaign.

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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