Walsall defender Dan Scarr shaped by time in non-league

Walsall defender Dan Scarr believes his time playing in non-league has shaped him as a player as he looks to make a mark in the Football League.

Dan Scarr
Dan Scarr

The 24-year-old centre-back played for Stourbridge for two years before earning a move to Birmingham in 2017.

He spent the 2017/18 season on loan at Wycombe Wanderers before moving to Walsall on a permanent deal in January this year.

Scarr has been a mainstay in Walsall’s back-line for much of Darrell Clarke’s reign as manager.

And after turning out some impressive performances for the Saddlers, particularly during their four-game winning run in September, the defender puts his progress down to his time in the lower rungs of English football.

“When I was playing non-league I used to come up against strikers who had just dropped down from the league or the Conference and the teams we were playing against had a lot of money,” he said.

“Big players were dropping out so that period was a good stepping stone for me because I played against a lot of experienced lads to learn my trade quickly.

“When I came to League Two with Wycombe Wanderers, then Blues and here, it stands you in good stead.

“You learn every game you play, you’re always coming up against different opposition and strikers so you have to try and suss out what players are doing.

“It’s a learning curve every game.

“I always want to try and play my best and help the team as best we can.

“I’m enjoying playing but when you’re not picking up results you forget that you are playing well and you just focus on what you need to improve on.

“At the moment we’re trying to work hard, the partnerships have changed but whoever is in is trying to put a shift in.”

Scarr is one of the younger players among a team of inexperienced professionals and he admits that playing alongside veterans such as Gary Liddle and Mat Sadler is helping him develop his game.

“You want to play well and take each game as it comes,” Scarr added.

“It’s nice to get a run of games and try to improve day by day.

“I trust the gaffer in what he does and we have a good relationship and hopefully he knows what he’ll get out of me when I do play.

“I’ll always give it 100 per cent, organise and defend as well as I can.

“If something doesn’t go well we try and have a chat about it.

“I talk to Sads (Mat Sadler) a lot about things, say it was positional we’ll have a little chat and I have a lot of respect for the experience and for their help.”

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