Express & Star

Jed Wallace admits to key West Brom boost ahead of new campaign

Albion captain Jed Wallace has underlined the importance of experienced duo Alex Mowatt and Kyle Bartley recommitting to the club.


Midfielder Mowatt, 29, and defender Bartley, 33, were out of contract at The Hawthorns but last week accepted deals on the table from the club since late May.

Mowatt signed a two-year deal, with a triggered appearance option of a third, and Bartley penned a one-year contract, plus another year based on appearances.

Wallace, who is entering a third season at the club, admits their experience and character, as well as fellow members of the squad’s leadership group, are vital for young players and new signings.

“We’ve got such a tight-knit group,” Wallace told the Attacking the Championship podcast. “The likes of Darnell (Furlong), Conor (Townsend), Barts, Matty Phillips who left in the summer, four or five top professionals who look after themselves really well and they set the standard in the training ground.

“When the likes of (Ousmane) Diakite come over, who doesn’t speak much English, it’s an easy thing to follow, the same for young guys like Tom Fellows and Caleb Taylor, they see those guys before training, doing yoga, foam rolling, the lads stepping up divisions and levels see standards they need to follow, it’s only going to help them.

“It is a big transition (this summer),” Wallace added. “We’ve got Josh Maja, he’s my resident French speaker, he was able to look after the new boy for me a little bit. Typical, when I needed Kipre there to speak French he wasn’t there! Luckily Josh had his spell in France with Bordeaux because my French isn’t the best.”

Mowatt was one of the Baggies’ star performers last term – and Wallace admits the Yorkshireman’s lively presence around the training ground and dressing room is bad news for some, notably John Swift.

The winger said: “It was a major boost for us to get Kyle Bartley and Alex Mowatt to re-sign for us, not only on the pitch but off it as well, they add a lot in terms of leadership – and comic value, in terms of that Moway is very important in the dressing room!

“I’m not sure the lads will be too happy. A couple of times Swifty has ordered a couple of dodgy cardigans and then Moway will be walking around with it on in the gym, deep heat in boxers, all of that old-school banter, he’s got it all. I think Swifty’s gutted he’s re-signed to be honest!”

“You go to get changed and I’ll get a wet sock around the back of my head, it’s never-ending! As if we are 15 years old. It’s important in a dressing room, because if it’s not always the greatest mood, there will be times the lads are low, you need someone to take the edge of it. Anything in a Doncaster accent is even funnier!

“Barts has a wealth of experience, he has been at the club six or seven years, so especially for me he’s someone I can really lean on as captain, there are three or four of us that can look after stuff and he’s massively important for that. He’s huge for us.”