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Jack Nolan shines on Walsall debut

By Liam Keen | Walsall FC | Published:

Walsall defender Mat Sadler has heaped praise on debutant Jack Nolan after an impressive performance in the side’s 2-1 win over Crawley Town.

Jack Nolan and George Francomb

The 18-year-old winger was introduced in the 62nd minute and showed glimpses of his talent with several good touches and runs with the ball.

Experienced centre-back Sadler, who filled in at left-back in the victory, was pleased to see the youngster put in a positive shift.

“You look at Jack and you don’t see an 18-year-old lad there,” he said. “He’s quite big and he looks quite physical and muscular. I thought in his cameo he gave a glimpse of a proper player that’s in there – somebody who will beat a man, somebody who will pick a pass.

“It was a good first game for him and he should be happy with himself.

“Throughout the season we haven’t had the ability to bring someone on like Jack.

“He brings another issue for the opposition.

“The manager has said two or three players in this window, it’s not a case of ripping it up and starting again. Just a couple of tweaks.”

Manager Darrell Clarke was still adamant that Nolan needs time, but he too was pleased with the winger’s showing.

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“Let’s not expect too much too early,” he said. “I think you can see the positives that he’ll bring, we have to work on his fitness. But he has a lovely left foot, a lovely delivery. The most pleasing thing is he gave the ball away and he reacted positively and won the ball back.

“It looks like we’ve got a good prospect on our hands, but a lot of work to do.”

Defender Zak Jules, midfielder Alfie Bates and striker Rory Gaffney all missed out on the squad for the Crawley win and Clarke revealed that Jules and Gaffney have been struggling with knocks, while Bates just missed out to Sam Perry.

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Sports Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Sports journalist at the Express & Star, primarily covering Walsall FC and grassroots sport across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319456.

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