The latest edition of Saddlers Shout will be available at Saturday's match against Grimsby Town.
Supporters can pick up a copy around the ground, at the Club Shop or a the Ticket Office on matchday.
Saddlers midfielder Ronan Maher sat down with us for an exclusive interview in Saddlers Shout, fresh from signing his first professional contract.
Here is a snippet of our chat with the 17-year-old.
Firstly Ronan, congratulations on signing your first professional contract. Talk us through how you’re feeling…
“It’s every little boy’s dream to become a professional footballer and it’s a real honour to say that I play football and I get paid to play football. I’ve got great pride in signing the contract, especially with Walsall who I’ve been with since the age of 11 so I’ve been here for quite a while and I’m really happy to get the deal done.”
What was the feeling like when you first found out you were being offered a professional contract. Were you surprised?
“When Michael Flynn pulled me in to his office and told me that I was going to get a pro contract, it was a surreal and a shock moment for me, I couldn’t believe it. I was over the moon when he said he was going to offer it and I couldn’t wait to sign it and get it over the line.”
Casting our minds back to July 2021 which was when you got your first taste of the first team football in a pre-season friendly against Crystal Palace. What was that experience like?
“That was probably one of my best experiences because I’d only just became a first-year scholar and I got called into the first team at 16, which doesn’t really happen much. Matthew Taylor brought me in against Crystal Palace and I think that was probably the most surreal moment of my life when I stepped onto the pitch and there were the likes of Wilfried Zaha and other Premier League players that you see on TV and they’re stood next to you on the pitch, it was a very surreal moment and I enjoyed it. That moment made me kick on and I think has got me to where I am today.”
After getting a taste of it that day, did that give you extra motivation to push on?
“It was like a little carrot that was given to you, I saw it, I got a little taste of it and I wanted to experience it more so I went away, I worked hard in the off season and I came back a different player and I think that’s what’s helped me this season to break into the first team.”
It's been quite a journey for you in football to get to this moment. Tell us more about your path in football…
“I started kicking a ball as soon as I could walk really and from there, I started playing futsal when I was five or six, that’s where I’ve got the ball control from so I started that from a very young age. From there I progressed to playing for both West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa before you had to commit to one so I committed to West Brom and I was there for four years before I got released at Under 11s. I took a little break, went on holiday, came back and Walsall rang so we went there and after one day I was signed because we had a tournament at Nottingham and I’ve been at Walsall ever since. In the off season I try and do extra work, strength and conditioning, sprint work and ball work in the off season to try and help me improve every season to get better and better.”
Pick up a copy of Saddlers Shout for just £3 at Saturday's match to read the full interview with Maher.
Programmes from all matches so far this season are available to buy at walsallfcstore.co.uk