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Club News

Darrell Clarke’s Unveiling Press Conference: Best Bits

14 May 2019

Club News

Darrell Clarke’s Unveiling Press Conference: Best Bits

14 May 2019

New Saddlers boss Darrell Clarke was officially unveiled to the media this morning.

The 41-year-old first sat down with BBC WM and Express & Star before speaking to Sky Sports, BBC Midlands Today and ITV Central, followed by a live interview on TalkSPORT2.

Here are some of the best bits...

Photos: Tim Thursfield, Express & Star


On joining the club…

It’s a great football club and I’m looking forward to getting started. The rebuild starts from day one. It was obviously a disappointing season for Walsall, going down, but I’m really proud and positive. I have a good feeling about the place. Having had success of rebuilding football clubs, that’s what I aim to do again. The training facilities are fantastic. The people I’ve met are very passionate about the football club. Now we’ve got to get the passion back for the supporters by winning football matches and bringing success on the pitch.



On inheriting a club that has just been relegated…

I’ve been here before, with my two previous clubs. We got relegated and demotions so I know what it’s about and I know what needs to be done. It’s going to be a tough job. I won’t sit here and say it’s going to be a bed of roses because there might be some more lows before we get the highs. What I can say is that I’ll be giving everything for the football club. My players will be giving everything for the club. Everybody, my staff, will be working hard to get it back to where it belongs.



On rebuilding the squad…

A lot of players are out of contract and there’ll be a lot of comings and goings through the course of the summer. The fresh impetus of building a fresh squad is probably a good thing. It clears out a bit of the deadwood because obviously when you’ve been relegated there has been a lot of deadwood. You’re pleased with that aspect as it gives you a clean slate. But then you have pressure of players you do sign, making sure they try to hit the ground running. Sometimes you bring players in and it takes a bit of time for them to adapt. I remember at Bristol Rovers when we got relegated to the Conference, we didn’t have a great start. We’ll keep working with players, building them, making players better. It’s important we get back to the Walsall traditional way of building our own players as well. The rebuilding job isn’t going to be a quick fix. Yes, it’s going to be a tough rebuild but it’s a rebuild that can be done.



On players…

You want hungry players. You want players hungry for success, to get Walsall success or individual success. We live in a world where people want to do the best for themselves so you can sometimes manage it that way. You want players hungry to go and play at the highest level but, first and foremost, they want to be giving their best and utmost for Walsall and we start moving this club forward.



On the supporters...

When you get relegated, there is a lot of unrest in the supporter base. I get that – they’re disappointed. It’s the supporters’ football club. Every club in England is the supporters’ football club. We’ve got to get them back on side. The only way you’ll get them back on side is by winning football and entertaining football, while building a proper football club in the background. That’s going to be the aim from day one.


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