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Darren Byfield joins the Saddlers as First Team Coach

5 July 2023

Club News

Darren Byfield joins the Saddlers as First Team Coach

5 July 2023

Walsall Football Club are pleased to confirm the appointment of Darren Byfield as First Team Coach.

In this role, Darren will form a key part of Mat Sadler's coaching staff. He will work closely with our first team players on a day-to-day basis, and will also serve as our Senior Professional Development Coach, helping build the link between the academy and the first team. 

He will also be responsible for executing the Individual Development Plans for both first team and academy players that the club implemented last season.

Byfield is no stranger to the Saddlers having enjoyed two spells at the Poundland Bescot Stadium as a player.

During his first tenure, he scored the winning goal in the 2001 Division Two play-off final against Reading and his 11 goals during that season were key as Walsall won promotion to Division One (now the Championship).

His second spell with the Saddlers came between 2009 and 2011 and he added a further 12 goals to his Walsall tally.

Byfield’s playing career yielded almost 500 matches for the likes of Aston Villa, Rotherham United, Sunderland, Gillingham, Millwall, Bristol City, Doncaster Rovers and Oldham Athletic.

In 2016, Byfield ventured into management with Redditch United. He has also managed Stratford Town, Alvechurch and also took charge of Walsall Wood on two occasions.

His most recent post was at fellow League Two club Crawley Town, where he worked as First Team Coach, but also had a brief time in charge of the Red Devils as Caretaker Manager last season.

Byfield is looking forward to returning to the Poundland Bescot Stadium and is excited for the challenge ahead.

“I am really excited,” expressed Byfield. “I spoke with the gaffer and I am really excited about his thoughts and ideas about what we will be doing this season so I am really looking forward to it.

“I am looking forward to jumping straight in to training and working with the gaffer, Gary and Dan Watson.

“Hopefully as a group of staff and players, we can all continue to learn and grow together and make sure that we are strong this season on and off the pitch. 

“My aim is to try and improve this team and this football club and get us back to where we want to be. 

“My experience last year with Crawley will hopefully help me in this role. It’s having the knowledge of knowing the teams and players that you are playing against, it is a big thing. 

“Being in League Two last season is something we can hopefully we can take advantage of.”

Head Coach Mat Sadler is looking forward to linking up with Byfield and feels he will bring a perfect balance to complete the coaching set-up.

“Darren is a club legend,” said Sadler. “He is a fantastic person first and foremost and what he will do, what I am excited for him to do, is cover a little bit of a blind spot of mine in the attacking area. 

“His experience in the forward areas will certainly rub off on our attackers and I am looking forward to him working with them. 

“He is someone who will bring an incredible energy to the place and he now concludes the coaching staff side of things. 

“I have waited patiently for what I think suits the department best and I feel like we have done that now.

“He was most recently working with Crawley Town, he knows the division very well. He also knows the local non-league market very well and he is another fantastic source of experience for me.”

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