No pressure on Walsall return for Kory Roberts
Darrell Clarke is hoping Kory Roberts can play a full part in Walsall’s pre-season – but the boss says he will not rush the promising defender.
The 21-year-old missed the entire 2018/19 campaign after breaking his leg in a pre-season friendly against Stoke.
Back in March, it was revealed Roberts had started running again with his recovery progressing as planned.
But while Clarke is hoping he will be ready to join in with the group when they report back on June 24, the boss is also wary of putting too much pressure on the youngster.
“We are hoping that Kory can go straight back into pre-season training when the lads come back at the end of June,” the boss said.
“He has still got to have his plate out but we are hoping that he will be able to do a fair amount of work in pre-season.
“I don’t like putting timescales on things like that.
“But we will see how things go and we will link in with the physio at every opportunity to see if we can get him back with the group as quickly as possible.”
Meanwhile, Zeli Ismail has completed a move to League Two rivals Bradford City after being released by Walsall.
The 25-year-old former Wolves winger said: “I am really happy to be here. I know this is the right move for me and cannot wait to get in front of the crowd.
“As a footballer you do not want to hide, you want to play in front of the kind of support that is here.
“Who would not want to play in front of these fans? It is what playing football is all about!“I met Gary (Bowyer) and he is a fantastic person. His ambition for the club is massive and he was one of the main reasons I was keen to join the club.
“Bradford City is a massive name. Hopefully, we can climb back up the Football League and really push on.”
Walsall have also confirmed ticket prices for their friendly with Villa which is taking place on Wednesday, July 24.
The match, which will see former boss Dean Smith return to the Banks’s Stadium, is the only friendly the Saddlers are playing on home turf this summer.
Tickets are £12 for adults or £6 for concessions.
A family ticket for one adult and one under 18 is £15.
Ticket prices have also been confirmed for Walsall’s pre-season friendly at Nuneaton Borough.
The Saddlers will travel to the Liberty Way Ground on Saturday, July 13.
Entry has been priced at £10 for adults and £8 for concessions.
A ticket for anyone under 16-years-old is £3.
Alongside those matches, Walsall will also play friendlies against Alfreton Town, Leamington, Notts County, and Tranmere Rovers this summer.
They are also expected to play a match on a team bonding trip to Poland.