Walsall first-team coach Neil Cutler has signed a new contract at the club to keep him at the Banks’s Stadium until 2019.
Cutler, a highly-rated coach who has previously specialised in working with goalkeepers, has not just worked closely with Mark Gillespie and Liam Roberts so far this season but also with the outfield squad.
The 41-year-old, who began his playing career with West Bromwich Albion before joining Crewe, has been part of the backroom staff at Walsall since 2013, and has since worked extensively with keepers such as Richard O’Donnell and Neil Etheridge.
The highly-rated coach is delighted to extend his stay at the Banks’s Stadium and remain part of Jon Whitney’s backroom staff.
And Cutler was quick to pay tribute to Whitney for the work he has done with Cutler to help his coach become better within his role and within the club.
“I’m delighted - my contract was running out at the end of this season so I’m delighted to put that one to bed and to be able to carry on with what we’ve been doing,” Cutler told Saddlers TV.
“Things have been moving along really nicely with the young players coming through - helping them to progress - and the progression of the keepers has been really good, too.
“I think the role of a goalkeeping coach is developing now. You can’t just be a goalkeeping coach, you have to be a first-team coach - someone who looks at how we set up, how the opposition sets up, into set pieces.
“You can’t just pigeon-hole yourself as a goalkeeping coach and you’ve got to have more about you than that. That’s what I’m trying to encompass now, based around the philosophy and how we do things at the club.
“I think I’ve improved massively in my time at the club and that has been down to the manager as well, who must take some praise in that because he’s been magnificent with me.
“What he did when he was a sports scientist, I’ve learned so much about the biomechanics of goalkeeping. That detail has definitely helped me push forward (but also) how I am as a person - he’s big on that.
“He’s helped me with my personality - how I deal with things day-to-day and my confidence. He can take massive pride in that and that’s another reason why I want to stay at this football club.”
That positivity, emanating from Whitney and his coaching staff towards the players, is a big part, Cutler says, of why he was keen to extend his stay at the Banks’s Stadium.
“Jon is a very, very positive person and we won’t have negativity - that’s part of our philosophy,” Cutler added.
“We let players come in and be themselves and progress. That’s part of what we do daily.”
Cutler is determined to improve himself as a coach in several aspects, and believes he is doing so.
And when it comes to bringing players into the club, Cutler believes that The Saddlers will be the best club for any footballer who wants to improve themselves to come to.
“I’m really, really happy with the club and everything it stands for,” said Cutler.
“I’m all about developing players - and goalkeepers particularly.
“This is what this club is all about so it suits me right down to the ground.
“I’m improving and I’m moving forward - Ian Sharps and the manager have been big players in me progressing.
“They help me tactically when we talk about opposition and I feel like I’m learning all the time.
“This is the club to be at if you want to move forward and better yourself - and that’s me.”