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DOUBLE SWOOP FOR SADDLERS

Connor Taylor

PUBLISHED

09:50 1th August 2012

by Andrew Poole

Saddlers snap up highly-rated Premier League youngsters...

THE SADDLERS have completed a double swoop with two Premier League youngsters putting pen-to-paper at Banks’s Stadium.

Former Aston Villa youngster, Connor Taylor and West Bromwich Albion’s Paul Downing have both signed one-year deals following successful trial spells.

Taylor is a hard-working and committed front-runner who was plucked by Villa from Coventry Sphinx and made good progress as he came up through the Villa Park ranks.

Impressing for both the youth and reserve teams, the 18 year-old, who hails from Coventry, had a spell on loan at Tamworth last season and is looking forward to establishing himself here at Banks’s Stadium.

“Connor is a young lad who has really impressed us since the start of pre-season,” said manager, Dean Smith. “He’s got bags of pace and ability and is a player of real potential.

“We won’t be rushing him, we will develop him the right way and hopefully he will step up to the plate for us.”

Meanwhile Downing is a 20 year-old defender who came through the ranks at Albion where he made excellent progress before earning a professional contract.

Having made it onto the first-team bench for The Baggies, he was then loaned out to Hereford United in order to gain competitive experience.

Further loan spells at Rotherham United, Shrewsbury Town and Barnet followed, the latter of which extended his stay last term following some assured displays.

He was released from The Hawthorns during the summer and is relishing the opportunity to kick-on with The Saddlers.

“Paul is a player that I have seen in action on numerous occasions in recent years,” added boss, Dean Smith. “He’s had a good schooling at West Bromwich Albion and really started to make his mark during a loan spell at Barnet last season.

“He has really impressed us over the past few weeks and is a player that we feel we can really develop.

“He’s composed on the ball, strong in the air and is generally a good defender.”

Taylor has been handed squad number 15 and Downing will wear 22.

News of further new signings will appear here once the deal is signed and sealed, so stay logged on to www.saddlers.co.uk...

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