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Clarke looking for a big impact from signings

Darrell Clarke believes Walsall have signed players who could be million-pound hits this summer.

But the boss has also warned his new recruits they must realise their potential quickly if they want to avoid falling into football’s bargain basement.

Clarke started his summer recruitment drive by bringing in experienced duo Stuart Sinclair and James Clarke.

But his last three arrivals have all been youngsters with a point to prove.

Midfielder James Hardy was snapped up from non-league AFC Fylde, while Elijah Adebayo and Jack Kiersey have arrived after being released from Fulham and Everton respectively.

“The signings I make will have an opportunity to kick the club on and kick themselves on,” Clarke said when asked about his transfer business.

“I say to my staff they could be million pound players or they could be available in every good pound shop in the not too distant future.

“That is the way we are working. That is the model we are in. It is up to me and the staff to have a look at the attributes players have got and make them better players, better people.

“It’s not all about budgets. A lot of clubs get themselves in trouble, chasing a dream that is not there.

“We are respectful that we don’t do it that way here. We want players we can develop.”

Clarke will manage the Saddlers for the first time on Saturday when he takes his team to Alfreton for a pre-season friendly.

And the former Salisbury boss, who left Bristol Rovers in December, admits he is enjoying being back in management.

“Being a manager is different to being a player because you are still full on in the summer months,” he continued.

You go on holiday but you don’t because there is an agent on the phone who wants to give you his next world-beater.

“But I’m not moaning. I love it. It’s a drug.

“It is a strange world football management. When you lose you don’t want to be in it. It is like mourning a death.

“But when you are out of it you can’t wait to get back in it.

“I was fortunate at Salisbury I had that background because it certainly made me a hell of a lot better manager and put me in a process. At Rovers it helped massively.

“I think it can be a very big culture shock to first time managers, having to deal with some of the things you have to deal with, without having experience.

“You are faced with problems every single day and questions every single day.”

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