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Darrell Clarke: Walsall will not panic buy

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Darrell Clarke says he won’t be rushed into making new signings, despite Walsall returning to training in less than two weeks.

Darrell Clarke

The Saddlers report for pre-season duty at their Essington base on June 24.

As it stands, Clarke has just 13 players on his books with that list including youngsters Callum Cockerill-Mollett, Alfie Bates and Mitch Candlin.

But the boss says the important thing is having the right squad in place in time for the season kick-off on August 3.

“As a manager, you’re always looking at players and doing due diligence on players,” he said.

“What I will say is that I won’t be rushed into making hasty decisions just because somebody wants to see a new signing and people want new signings in the building as quickly as possible.

“Every manager up and down the country wants new signings through the door and to have their full squad ready for the start of preseason.

“The realistic point of view is sometimes that isn’t the case and we will keep working hard to get a team and a squad of players ready for August 3 and not June 24 when we are back.”

Meanwhile, Clarke believes young players and players coming back from injury will benefit from Walsall’s decision to re-enter the reserve league.

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The Saddlers opted against entering a development side into the Central League last season – a decision which raised eyebrows amongst supporters with injured players like Joe Edwards having little opportunity to rebuild their fitness.

“You need to get minutes into the boys that aren’t playing as much football,” the boss said.

“I think you can’t afford to be playing catch up when the league games come round so the match fitness is a very important thing.

“Also, we want to get to the stage where we are starting to produce our own players as well and certainly getting some of the scholars playing in the reserve games and mixing in with the first team boys because it is important.

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“Match fitness is key, anybody in the game will tell you that and I am no different.

“It will be good for us to have the option of a reserve fixture but we don’t want to over-cook the games either because we won’t have a massive squad.

“We want to make sure there are enough games there so people are getting plenty of minutes when they need them the most.”

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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