Saddlers guaranteed top spot with one game still to play...Walsall’s Development Squad have won the Central League North West Division!
Port Vale’s 2-0 home defeat by Bradford on Wednesday means the Saddlers are now guaranteed first place with one game still to play.
John Ward’s side have won eight of their nine league fixtures, scoring 17 goals and conceding just four.
The Saddlers are eight points clear of second-placed Vale, who are the only team to have beaten us this season – 2-0 in the first game of the league campaign.
Since then, the Development Squad have won 13 consecutive matches in all competitions, advancing to the semi-finals of both the Birmingham and Walsall Senior Cups.
“It’s really good for the players to win the league,” said Ward, the Saddlers’ Professional Development Coach. “Most of the players we’ve used have been Under-18s so it’s been great for them.
“I’m not one of those coaches that works with youth players who says we’re looking simply at development, you develop them to try to win.
“We’ve won 13 games in succession, come from behind in games and dug out 1-0 wins when we haven’t played particularly well.
“I think they’ll learn a lot more doing that and they’ve got a nice reward for it so I’m pleased for them.
“We’ve still got to go to Port Vale, who were our rivals for the title, in our final game and we’ve also got two semi-finals so there’s still a lot to play for.
“The Under-18s have a chance of finishing in the top two of their division so it’s quite an exciting time for the boys.”