Express & Star

Walsall's Ronan Maher surpassed targets thanks to Rushall Olympic

Walsall teenager Ronan Maher says he has surpassed the targets he set for himself in pre-season during his remarkable campaign at Rushall Olympic.


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Prior to joining the Pics, Maher scored his first Walsall goal in a 4-3 defeat at Blackburn Rovers in the EFL Cup in August.

However, Mat Sadler wanted him to gain more minutes at senior level and opted to send him out on loan to neighbours Rushall.

Despite initially having to bide his time, Maher made a strong impression during his first loan before he was briefly recalled by Walsall in November.

He returned to Rushall for the remainder of the season in January and played an instrumental role as they secured their National League North status and lifted the Staffordshire Senior Cup and Walsall Senior Cup respectively.

He scored four goals and set-up six more in 25 league appearances for the Pics, but racked up over 40 appearances in all competitions for both Rushall and Walsall.

“When I spoke with the gaffer at the start of the season, this was what he had planned out. I think we’ve even surpassed that,” he revealed.

“At 18-19 years of age to get 32 appearances in the National League North and over 40 altogether for the season has been massive progress for me.

“I’ve had vast experience with a couple of red cards, how to learn off those and I’ve also been involved in a relegation scrap, which you don’t often do at such a young age.

“That’s been really beneficial and I’ve clocked up important goals and assists in big games.”