The Saddlers have operated without an official team of scouts in recent years, something Keates has vowed to address.
He has now filled one of the key positions, bringing in Gary Jenkins. He has vast experience of scouting and will work with a network of former Saddlers who have offered to help Keates in his hunt for new players.
“The scouting network is coming along well,” the boss said. “I have brought Gary Jenkins in as chief scout. He is local and knows what the club is about.
“And I’m in conversation with ex-players around the country so when I do have an interest in a player they can go and look at them.
“I get so many names put to me but I can’t watch all these players myself. But for me to have active people out there in this network it allows us to cover all bases.”
Keates feels it’s vital Walsall are able to monitor players in the Football League and below.
“That is what I feel, as a club, we need to be doing. A lot of other clubs are doing it now and I think it’s vital so that we don’t miss out on players,” he added.
“The final decision on a player will always be mine but at least I know I have got people out there watching these players.”