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Chris Marsh: Darrell Clarke has brought the players and the Walsall optimism

By Chris Marsh | Walsall FC | Published:

It’s been a busy week with three signings in as many days.

Darrell Clarke

Those arrivals mean Walsall have now snapped up seven players this summer.

Bizarrely though, it is only the addition of manager Darrell Clarke that has given fans genuine optimism for the campaign ahead.

Stuart Sinclair and James Clarke were good captures.

You want experienced pros who have had success at the level.

But all the signings we’ve made since – if we’re being honest – look to be punts.

They aren’t players that are going to sell season tickets. They aren’t experienced or particularly exciting.

But Clarke is experienced. He knows what he is doing having won four promotions in his career so far.

And he has a great track record of plucking players from lower down the pyramid and helping them realise their potential.

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All our faith seems to be in him at the minute.

And for that reason I can understand why some fans are concerned with the new season just four weeks away.

As it stands, the squad looks very young.

I saw the average age is around 22 years old.

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There is a lot of potential there. But for me, we need a few more experienced heads to knit everything together.

We don’t know what is going on behind the scenes.

Maybe Clarke has four players lined up who will sign shortly. But I’d still like to see a few marquee arrivals – especially after Andy Cook was sold.

Clarke made it clear the striker wanted to leave. And if that’s the case then he’s done the right thing letting him go. If a player wants out, get them out – just get as much money as you can.

But you can’t help get a bit downhearted that he’s joined Mansfield. Surely they are not a more attractive proposition than us?

It is disappointing to see him go there. And with no marquee replacement to date, I am worried we won’t be part of the promotion shake-up next year.

It’s tough to say that because when you go down – the aim always has to be bounce straight back up.

Hopefully, my fears are wrong and one day Clarke will stuff these words right down my throat. For myself and the fans it’s a case of ‘in Clarke we trust’.

Looking from the outside in though, the boss has a really tough job on his hands.

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