Express & Star

Richard O'Kelly makes return to Walsall

Richard O'Kelly has returned to Walsall as an associate director, the club have confirmed.

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The 67-year-old enjoyed two spells at the Bescot as a player before becoming Dean Smith's assistant manager back in 2012.

He has since gone on to have stints with Smith at Brentford and Aston Villa - before most recently coming back to the club to help head coach Mat Sadler at the end of last season.

Co-chairman Ben Boycott has confirmed the appointment and is hoping the club can benefit from O'Kelly's experience.

He said: "I’m really pleased that Richard has accepted our offer to join the club as an associate director.

“He is somebody who knows the football club well, who cares deeply about the club and the people in it, and whom we can all learn a great deal from.

“Richard’s acceptance of this role is a really positive step forward for the club. Our associate directors provide valuable insight and wisdom to those making decisions at the club on a day-to-day basis, and I’m really pleased that we’re going to be adding Richard’s tremendous football expertise to this area.

"While the decision making at the club will remain the same, myself and my fellow executive directors are submitting ourselves to sit under the guidance, advice, and wisdom of people like Richard, from whom we can learn a great deal. His advice and guidance will be of great value to both myself and Mat Sadler going forward.

“I am thrilled that Richard has accepted our offer to rejoin the club in this important capacity.”

And O'Kelly revealed he is delighted to have made the return to the club and is keen to play his part in the future.

He added: "I am very pleased to be back with the club.

"I have had the opportunity to get to know the owners on a personal level and I think they are good people. They are also very level-headed and have a clear vision for the club.

“The executive team and coaching staff have put together a young, dedicated and talented group and I am looking forward to being part of the development of them and the football club in general as it continues to strive for success.

“I have fantastic memories from my time as a player and coach at Walsall and appreciated the support of our loyal fans, and I hope we will be able to make them proud moving forward.”