Manager looks ahead to new season...
MANAGER Dean Smith has reacted to the announcement of our 2015/16 SkyBet League One fixtures.
The Saddlers kick-off the new campaign at home to Oldham Athletic (8th Aug) before travelling to Southend United (Aug 15th) for our first game on the road.
“It’s a really competitive start which is what you want,” said Smith.
“It’s great to kick-off the season with a home game, in front of our own fans.
“Fixture release day is something we all look forward to. The fans get to plan where they’re going to be heading for next nine months and obviously we as staff can start plotting our course for the season.
“The games come thick and fast. We’ve got five games in first two weeks, so we have got an opportunity to hit the ground running.
“We go to Southend early on which is what we did last season in the Capital One Cup so its nice to go there in the League which will give the fans a weekend away in August.
“To have Coventry as our second home game will be a good local derby which will hopefully attract a good crowd in the sun.”
The Christmas period will see the Saddlers host Port Vale (19th) and Peterborough United (28th), with a trip to South-London sandwiched in-between to take on Millwall on Boxing Day (26th)
“It's nice to be at home at Christmas but you don’t always get the luck of the draw," he added.
“Millwall are a team who have dropped out the Championship so that’s a game I’ll be looking forward to and making sure the players are right for it.
“Burton (10th Oct) are a side we’ll play for the first time competitively and we look forward to welcoming Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to the Banks’s.
Dean Smith’s men finish the season where last season began, away to Port Vale, a club the Gaffer knows all too well.
“Having played and captained them and it’ll be a great end to the season, a Staffordshire derby at Vale Park.
“I love the fact that the fixtures are finally here and it makes you realise how close we are to the beginning of the season.
“It’s one we’re all looking forward to!”