Express & Star

Ronan Maher thrilled to get his chance with Walsall

Walsall youngster Ronan Maher has thanked boss Michael Flynn for giving him an opportunity and believes his first senior goal should arrive soon.


Attack-minded midfielder Maher has been with the Saddlers’ first team throughout pre-season and caught the eye with a series of impressive displays.

The 17-year-old is hoping to continue that trend at Solihull Moors tomorrow and boost his chances of making a first competitive senior appearance against Hartlepool United next Saturday.

“Last season, I got a glimpse of it, and that pushed me on to get more this season,” said Maher, who had previously joined in with training sessions under Matt Taylor.

“I’m grateful for the manager giving me an opportunity.

“Hopefully, I can kick on after getting a lot of experience in this pre-season.

“I’ve hit the post and the bar (in pre-season), so I think the goal is on the way soon.”

Maher got 90 minutes under his belt as Walsall lost 3-0 to Coventry City on Tuesday night.

He featured in each of the previous three friendlies – against Villa, Leamington and AFC Telford United – as well.

On the step up to the senior fold, Maher said: “The biggest difference is probably the tempo in training sessions.

“It’s a lot higher here, so that was hard to get used to. Other than that, I think I’m coping quite well.

“It’s been good. The gaffer has got us doing lots of running, which has been quite tough.

“But he wants us to be a pressing team for when the league starts, so that’s what we’ve been focusing on.

“In the off season, I did quite a lot of work to get ready for pre-season as the gaffer told me before. I think I’ve coped with it well.”

Maher added on Flynn’s advice: “He just wants me to keep playing the way I am and try to kick on even more.”