Express & Star

Jackson Smith joins new club after Walsall exit

Goalkeeper Jackson Smith has joined League One side Barnsley after the expiry of his contract at Walsall.

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Smith has penned a four-year deal with the Tykes, which includes an option year in the club's favour.

The 22-year-old, who joined the Saddlers from Wolves on a one-year deal last summer, was offered a new contract by Walsall at the end of the season.

However, a compensation package has been agreed between Walsall and Barnsley as Smith teams up with former Saddlers boss Darrell Clarke at Oakwell.

Smith initially joined Walsall on loan in January 2023 as back-up to then first-choice goalkeeper Owen Evans.

An injury to Evans presented Smith with his debut from the bench in a goalless draw at Crawley Town on the penultimate game of the 2022/23 season.

He went onto start Walsall's 2-1 victory over Doncaster Rovers at Bescot in the final fixture, before signing permanently later that summer.

Evans remained first-choice for the opening three months of the previous campaign but Smith nailed down the number one spot from December onwards as he made 30 appearances in all competitions.

Welshman Evans was released at the end of the season, although Tommy Simkin has been brought in on loan from Stoke City to bolster the goalkeeping department.