Promising defender rewarded for impressive displays...Walsall FC are delighted to announce that academy product, Dan Vann, has signed his first professional deal with the club.
The Solihull-born defender first joined the Saddlers in 2014 and has progressed through the system under the guidance of Neil Woods and Academy Manager Graham Biggs.
The promising 17-year old has impressed when representing the club’s youth team and more recently in John Ward’s Development Squad and couldn’t hide his delight at signing his first professional contract.
“When I was told that the club were offering me a contract I was just delighted,” Vann explained. “I couldn’t stop smiling.
“It’s a really proud moment. I’ve been playing football since I was a kid so I’ve been working at this for most my life.
“Now it’s all come true.
“The club is renowned for bringing a lot of kids through so it’s really helpful for me to know that there’s a clear pathway for me to progress.
“I’ve seen the lads from last year go into the senior set up and it’s really motivated me.”
An athletic centre-half who is confident with the ball at his feel, Vann is the second player from his age group to have been offered a professional deal before the turn of the year.
Callum Cockerill-Mollett signed back in August until the summer of 2018 and is joined by Vann who insists that the hard work starts now.
“I’ve got to get my head down and try to make a career in the game,” he added. “I think in my first year I’ve just got to get up to speed with men’s football, get myself fit and stronger and go from there.
“I’ve played in the development squad a few times this season and it’s taught me a lot.
“I don’t need to get into a physical battle with players and there are other ways to win the ball without getting into a wrestling match.
“I travelled with the team to MK Dons and it was a good experience. I got to see what it’s all about so I can get ready for it when my time comes.“
Vann joins an illustrious group of players, which includes the likes of Will Grigg, Jamie Patterson, Rico Henry and Kieron Morris, to have graduated from the clubs youth system.
The youngster will continue to play for the clubs youth team for the remainder of the season whilst also representing the development squad when selected.