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Sadler is a Saddler!

11 July 2019

Walsall FC are delighted to announce the return of experienced defender Mat Sadler.

The 34-year-old was a league ever-present during his first spell with the Saddlers in 2011/12, scoring one goal in 52 appearances in all competitions.

Capped by England at youth level, Sadler started out with hometown club Birmingham City and featured 36 times during their 2006/07 Championship promotion-winning campaign.

He made 61 Blues appearances and had a brief spell at Northampton before signing for Watford, where he played 35 games.

After loan spells at Stockport and Shrewsbury, Sadler joined the Saddlers in 2011 and stayed for one season before moving to Crawley.

He was an ever-present in each of his two seasons with the Reds and returned to Broadfield Stadium on loan from Rotherham in 2014/15.

Moving to Shrewsbury via a temporary stint at Oldham, Sadler helped Town reach the finals of the League One play-offs and EFL Trophy in 2017/18.

He appeared 35 times last season and scored six goals in 161 matches for the Shrews in total.

“I’m really happy to be back at Walsall,” Sadler told iFollow Walsall. “When I heard there was interest from the club, I wanted to park everything else to make sure the deal got done.

“I really enjoyed my time when I was last here. It was a challenging season but it was a season I thoroughly enjoyed.

“The current gaffer has the same sort of feel about him as Dean [Smith] when I was here last. Darrell has a real desire to improve and a real desire to set high standards.

“The manager has a certain aura about him and he wants to create something very, very special.

“I am hoping my experience is going to be shown both on the pitch and off it.

“I’m 34 but, even at this ripe old age, I am still very excited about the new season and I can’t wait to get going.”

Manager Darrell Clarke added: “We’ve been trying to get the right sort of blend with the younger lads in the squad and Mat brings in a lot of experience.

“He’s a leader, was captain of Shrewsbury and led them to the play-offs a couple of seasons ago.

“He knows the club and what impressed me most was his hungriness; he wants to come here and achieve.

“That’s what I like to see from the older boys; they want to work hard and be part of what we’re trying to build here.”


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