Spanish duo to role back the years for The Saddlers...THERE will be some real Spanish flair on show at the Club Legends Cup tournament at Birmingham’s LG Arena on Saturday, July 12th as we include Spanish duo, Pedro Matias and Zigor Aranalde, in our line-up.
The pair formed an exciting partnership for The Saddlers and became popular figures during their stay with us.
They are jetting in especially to take part in the tournament, with one-time Real Madrid youngster, Matias, keen to thank the Walsall supporters for the backing that they gave him during his five years with the club.
“I’m really excited by the prospect of turning out for Walsall again,” said the 40 year-old who appeared over 160 times for the club following his arrival in October 1999. “I never had the chance to say a proper thank you and goodbye to the fans who were excellent with me throughout my time at the club.
“Coming back to England and playing in this tournament gives me the perfect opportunity to do that and see some old friends at the same time.
“It’s going to be good to catch up with people like Jorge Leitao; we got on really well and it will be nice to see him again after all this time.
“I can’t wait for July 12th and have been in training for the event so that I don’t let myself or the club down.
“I’m 40 years of age now but nothing gives me greater pleasure than playing football and I will enjoy every minute of the tournament.
“Hopefully I can provide some entertainment for the crowd and help Walsall put one over those local teams, as we did during my first season in 1999/2000.”
In fact, Matias’ first two games for The Saddlers following his arrival from Tranmere Rovers saw us beat Birmingham City and then West Bromwich Albion by one goal to nil.
He was part of the team which beat Reading at the Millennium Stadium in the Play-Off Final of 2001 and helped us secure our status in the second-tier of English football for a record-breaking three successive seasons.
It’s hard to believe that it will be a decade this Autumn since he departed Banks’s Stadium, having spells with Bristol Rovers and Kidderminster Harriers before returning to his homeland where he has served a number of clubs, most latterly RCD Carabanchel, for whom he also has a youth coaching role.
“I would like to think that one day I will be able to come back to a League game at Banks’s Stadium,” added Matias. “It was such a special place for me where I have so many happy memories of what was a special time in my career.”
Matias’ former manager, Ray Graydon, will be in charge of the Walsall team at the Club Legends Cup.
Tickets are on sale for the event priced at £10 for adults and £2 for under-16s (plus booking fees) and can be purchased by clicking here or by calling 0844-338 8000.
All money raised from the day goes to Midlands blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia - www.cureleukaemia.co.uk
Prior to the Club Legends Cup will be the FootieBugs Little Legends Cup featuring six regional kids teams and a Ladies Legends match between two top Midlands sides.
Away from the football there will be a host of fun activities around concourse areas of the LG Arena making it a great day out for the whole family.
So, why not come along and have a great day out whilst supporting The Saddlers!