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Richard O'Kelly joins Walsall FC as Associate Director

11 April 2024

Club News

Richard O'Kelly joins Walsall FC as Associate Director

11 April 2024

Walsall Football Club (WFC) is very pleased to announce that Richard O’Kelly has rejoined the football club, as an Associate Director.

In this role, Richard will have a direct line of communication with technical staff to advise on football matters.

O’Kelly, 67, enjoyed two spells with the Saddlers as a player, making over 200 appearances across eight years.

He rejoined the Club as assistant manager to Dean Smith back in June 2012, helping the club to reach the Football League Trophy final at Wembley during his tenure. He has since gone on to have a further spells as assistant manager, once more under Smith at Brentford and Aston Villa, where the club clinched promotion back to the Premier League in 2019, and most recently with current Head Coach Mat Sadler at the end of the 2022/23 League Two season.

“I am very pleased to be back with the Club,” said O’Kelly. “I have had the opportunity to get to know the owners on a personal level and I think they are good people. They are also very level-headed and have a clear vision for the club.

“The executive team and coaching staff have put together a young, dedicated and talented group and I am looking forward to being part of the development of them and the football club in general as it continues to strive for success.

“I have fantastic memories from my time as a player and coach at Walsall and appreciated the support of our loyal fans, and I hope we will be able to make them proud moving forward.”

Co-Chairman Ben Boycott believes Richard's appointment is an important step forward for the club.

“I’m really pleased that Richard has accepted our offer to join the club as an Associate Director,” said Boycott. 

“He is somebody who knows the football club well, who cares deeply about the club and the people in it, and whom we can all learn a great deal from.”

“Richard’s acceptance of this role is a really positive step forward for the club. Our Associate Directors provide valuable insight and wisdom to those making decisions at the club on a day-to-day basis, and I’m really pleased that we’re going to be adding Richard’s tremendous football expertise to this area. 

"While the decision making at the club will remain the same, myself and my fellow Executive Directors are submitting ourselves to sit under the guidance, advice, and wisdom of people like Richard, from whom we can learn a great deal. His advice and guidance will be of great value to both myself and Mat Sadler going forward.

“I am thrilled that Richard has accepted our offer to rejoin the club in this important capacity.”

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