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Leigh Pomlett: Walsall forging a closer link with Aston Villa

Walsall chairman Leigh Pomlett insists they have healthy relationships with their West Midlands counterparts – and are forging a closer link with Villa.

Leigh Pomlett
Leigh Pomlett

The Saddlers have room for another loan signing this month after snapping up Rollin Menayese on a permanent deal.

Pomlett says they have forged solid connections with Wolves and Albion, while technical director Jamie Fullarton is developing a relationship with Villa, having earned a reputation as a ‘good place for young players to come’.

“It’s good actually. We have good local relationships,” Pomlett told the Express & Star.

“You can always work on them even more, but Jamie is developing a relationship with Villa.

“The relationship with them is pretty good.

“We’re a good place for young players to come.

“Walsall has a very good reputation for looking after loan players, which is very important.

“You see how much Carl Rushworth has improved with us this year. Kieran Phillips, he’ll become a very good player.

“We’ve developed a relationship with Brighton. Jamie is developing a relationship with Villa.

“Our training ground is one of the best in League One and Two.

“Some clubs don’t have one, so when players come to Walsall, they tend to like the training ground. That helps.

“We’ve got good relationships with clubs, and not only in the Midlands.

“Matt has a very strong relationship with Tottenham, obviously, having worked there.

“Jamie’s the same with Crystal Palace.”

Walsall currently have Rushworth on loan from Brighton, Phillips from Huddersfield, Tyrese Shade from Leicester and George Miller from Barnsley.

Pomlett says the Saddlers will continue to be ‘very selective’ when it comes to loanees.

He added: “There’s sometimes a tendency to think if someone is playing for Villa’s academy, why haven’t we got him?

“But it’s a big jump from the under-23s to League Two, and you have to let guys like Jamie and Matt (Taylor) make those decisions.

“Sometimes, with these young players, they’ll come here and it’ll be their first time playing in front of fans. So, you have to be very selective.”

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