Sam Perry injured but youngsters set to get chance under Walsall manager Darrell Clarke
Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has revealed young midfielder Sam Perry is currently suffering with an injury, while insisting that academy products will be given a chance before the end of the season.
The 18-year-old has played once for the first team this season, putting in a hugely impressive 90 minutes against Portsmouth in the EFL Trophy.
He hasn't played since but Clarke has now revealed he has had an injury setback.
“He’s picked up an injury, a bit of an overload on his lower back,” he said.
“We’re monitoring that and we have to be careful as he’s a very young lad.
“It’s not the case that he’s gone out in the cold but he has had a slight injury problem.
“We’ll keep re-assessing that and see where we are.”
Clarke has been keen to stress the importance of academy products and hinted that some of them will get a chance in the league in the remaining 13 games of the season.
“We’ll be having a look at one or two and see how we go over the course of the next three, four games,” he added.
“See how things are developing.
“There’s times when young players need to come into the team - there will be those times and I’ll be having a look at them.
“I’m not going to give too much away but you will see one or two from now until the end of the season.
“Sam Perry is one of them.
“Luke Pearce is very young and training with the first team, we had Joe Foulkes that’s been training with the first team until he got a bad injury out on the 4G.
“We have young lads there and we want to have a look at the second year scholars in the reserve games coming up and see if they can stake a claim as well.
“You have to be building for the future here.
“Alfie Bates, for a first year pro, has done outstanding this year.
“He’s an 18-year-old who has done brilliant and has played numerous games.
“I’m sure he’ll play a few more before the end of the season.
“I’m excited about our young lads, I think we have good potential at the football club.”
Meanwhile, fellow 18-year-old midfielder Joe Willis joined non-league Salisbury on-loan on Thursday.
A move that Clarke has welcomed.
“I’m pleased,” he said.
“I have a link with Salisbury and know the assistant manager very well, Callum Hart.
“I highly recommended him (Willis) and they’re after a midfielder, obviously Leaky (Tom Leak) has gone there and done excellent.
“Joe is ready for men’s football so it’ll be good for him with a club that has a decent fan base and a decent set-up.”