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CLUB STATEMENT: JON WHITNEY APPOINTED FIRST TEAM MANAGER

1 June 2016

Jon Whitney signs three-year deal to become club's First Team Manager...

WALSALL Football Club are delighted to announce that Jon Whitney has signed a three-year contract as First Team Manager.

The 45 year-old took charge of first-team affairs in March 2016 and guided The Saddlers to a third-place finish in SkyBet League One, winning 8 and drawing one of his 14 games in charge. 

As part of the move, former Walsall defender Dean Holden has agreed a deal to become First Team Coach and will join Jon Whitney's existing backroom staff of Neil Cutler (Coach) and John Ward (Professional Development Coach). 

“Jon is the right man for the job,” explained Saddlers’ Chairman, Jeff Bonser. “He knows the inner workings of the club and has all the relevant knowledge and experience to take the club forward.

“He understands the philosophy and has an excellent relationship with the players, staff, fans and Board of Directors alike.

“Jon has been overseeing first-team affairs since March and in that time has impressed everyone with his attitude, style of play, work ethic and professionalism,” added Chief Executive, Stefan Gamble. “We enjoyed a fantastic end to the season and, whilst it was disappointing to lose in the Play-Off’s, we feel he has the right base and skill set to take the club forward.”

Jon has been an integral part of the backroom staff here at the Banks’s Stadium since joining the club as Physiotherapist in 2003. He progressed to Head of Medical and also held the position of assistant manager on a number of occasions whilst working alongside Dean Smith.

During his playing career, Jon earned a reputation as a non-nonsense defender whilst representing the likes of Huddersfield Town, Wigan Athletic, Hull City and Lincoln City.

"It’s a very proud moment for me and my family," Whitney said. "I’m really looking forward to it and I'm excited about continuing the work we started last season. 

"I’ve been at the club for over thirteen years now and I’m extremely proud that Walsall have given me my first permanent position in football management. 

"It’s about finishing the job and creating a sense of unity, not just in the squad but together with the fans and everyone connected with the club so we can all push on together. 

"I have a great working relationship with Jeff [Bonser] who has always been fair and honest with me and they’re attributes I share and will look to take into management.

"I’ll have the same energy, enthusiasm and commitment but the biggest thing for me is to enjoy it. 

"I want to make sure we develop the ethos that we’ve created over last five years and hopefully take it to the next level."

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