Walsall duo catch the eye of Darrell Clarke
Walsall boss Darrell Clarke admits he’s been delighted with the performances of Alfie Bates and Callum Cockerill-Mollett during pre-season.
The two youngsters have both come through the youth ranks at the Banks’s Stadium and are battling to impress their new manager ahead of the new campaign.
Bates, who signed his first professional contract in May, has impressed in central midfield, while Cockerill-Mollett, who enjoyed a loan spell at Chasetown last season, has been deployed at left wing-back, left-back and on the left side of a back three.
And Clarke admits he’s been impressed with them both.
On Bates, the boss said: “Alfie is a fit and robust lad.
“He has sat in our midfield and done really well.
“I feel him, Liam Kinsella and (Stuart) Sinclair have complimented each other.
“I’m pleased with the way they have pressed because we want to press. We want to get in teams’ faces and not give them a minute.”
Bates has played all three of Walsall’s pre-season friendlies so far.
But after being given 90 minutes at Leamington, Cockerill-Mollett was rested for the Nuneaton clash.
“I thought at Leamington he (Cockerill-Mollett) had a cracking game as the left-sided centre-half in a three,” Clakre added.
“He worked it really well. He is tenacious, strong. I’ve been really pleased with him throughout the course of pre-season.
“I’ve just got to get him communicating and talking a little bit more. But that will come because he’s got a lovely left foot.
“We switched to a back four at Leamington and he was pushing right on as a wide player and that is how I like to see my full-backs play.”