Happy New Year Saddlers
Wishing all football fans a Happy New year as we saddlers look back on 2007 with a certain amount of pride.
Of course the year started with an impressive away win over Peterborough but in truth it was a very up and down (albeit more ups than downs) second half of our league two season. The Championship seemed lost to our friendly monkey hangers, until the last day and almost the last kick when Dean Keates made it a joint party with our Swindon hosts at the County ground...an event that has made a true connection between the two set of fans.
This season has seen a poor start as we decided to break our winning habbit and give the rest of the division a head start as we were languishing bottom after a 3-0 loss at home to then bottom team Oldham. So when the going gets tough the tough get going, up to the plate steps Dickie Dosh perhaps the best manager in the division in my opinion. Brave decisions to let players go and give youth a chance has seen us move up to sixth spot and two points off automatic promotion, although we are only threepoints off tenth in what is a close division.
There is a long way to go and we are certain of nothing and the holy grail of Championship football is a million miles away but we are a club on the up.
Off the pitch we are financially stable, we have debts but we are now opperating at a profit, we have no need to sell players unless we have offers too silly to turn down. We have our own purpose built training facilities almost ready for use, the first time Walsall have not had to beg borrow training facilities off the borough in it's history.
However the main sense of pride has come thanks to our crop of youngsters. Who is to thank is arguable, Colin Lee even Merson all had an input, whilst Jeff Bonser has backed the system where possible and of course DD for giving them there head. However one factor remains constant Mick Halsall and Bill Jones who have worked with these kids. Thanks to them we are watching one of the youngest Saddlers teams I can remember, with a few old heads to help them along.
Scott Dann broke into the team and cemented his place, to be followed by Mark Bradley and Troy Deeney, Ishmel Demontagnac and now Alex Nicholls and Richard Taudry with Mannie Smith and diddy McDermott awaiting there chance. Of course this is home grown players however we also have Anthony Gerrard and Daniel Fox who joined the club at 18 and now at twenty have also blossomed under the guidence provided...no wonder the scouts are flocking to the Banks's Stadium although the message is loud and clear.......Hands Off
No matter where we finish at the end of the season the future is bright, and made in Walsall!