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FLANAGAN SIGNS NEW DEAL

12 December 2016

Talented midfielder agrees new contract...

Walsall Football Club are delighted to announce that talented midfielder, Reece Flanagan, has signed a new deal with the club until the summer of 2018.

The 22-year old has made 35 appearances for the Saddlers since making his debut against Leyton Orient in August 2014.

His last outing came in a 2-1 away victory over Gillingham back in April but days later he ruptured his anterior cruciate knee ligament in training. Despite having to endure a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Flanagan has impressed the club’s medical staff with his attitude and work ethic. 

Manager Jon Whitney heaped praise on the talented midfielder last month and has decided to reward him with a new one-year deal as his reaches the final stages of his rehabilitation.

"Reece was establishing himself as first team player and an important member of the group," explains jon Whitney. "He was unfortunate when and where his injury happened but credit to him, he's dealt with it fantastically well and I think he'll come back a fitter and stronger person.

"Technically know what he can do so he'll be a great addition to the squad and I think could still play a part this season."

“I’m thrilled to have signed now,” smiled Flanagan. “I can just concentrate on getting back fit and hopefully playing some part this year. 

“I think you’ve got to see every setback as an opportunity.

“For me, I’ve never been able to put on weight but since my injury I’ve gained 6 kilograms in muscle mass. 

“I took the positive from it and I feel like I’m going to come back stronger than I was before. 

“The staff have been brilliant and I can’t thank them enough. 

“I’m very self motivated anyway but they’ve definitely played a big part in my recovery and a lot of it is down to them. 

“Initially my target was Christmas but when I had my operation, the injury was worse than first thought so I’m looking at January now.” 

The Birmingham-born midfielder joined the club as a 16 year old and progressed through the Academy system alongside a clutch of talented youngsters. 

Having had to watch a lot of football this year, Flanagan explains how he is taking inspiration from a group of players who are now all making their mark on the senior squad.

“It’s my sixth season at the club and I think I’ve developed as a player and as a person as well,” he added. “If you’re a young lad coming up, you’ll get a lot of opportunities to develop here and to play games. 

“It’s a great place for young players and you only have to look at the examples in the first team squad. 

“Amadou [Bakayoko] is breaking through this season, Matty [Preston] has been solid at the back and Kieron Morris who is one of the first names on the team sheet every week. 

“So when you’re coming through with these lads, we’re all in similar situations and you can empathise and relate to each other. 

“Hopefully I can get back fit this year, play a couple of games and get match fit ready to play alongside them next season.”


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