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O'Donnell Dropped Amidst Contract Rumours

Ahead of the Saddlers' Sky Bet League 1 clash with Oldham Athletic, there are suggestions that first-choice goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell has rejected the club's contract offer after he was dropped for the starting line-up in favour of reserve 'keeper Craig MacGillivray.
Ahead of the Saddlers' Sky Bet League 1 clash with Oldham Athletic, there are suggestions that first-choice goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell has rejected the club's contract offer after he was dropped for the starting line-up in favour of reserve 'keeper Craig MacGillivray.

26-year-old O'Donnell is a product of the Sheffield Wednesday Academy, and made his first-team debut in 2006. Richard made just a handful of appearances for the Owls and spent several spells on loan at various clubs, including, amongst others, Oldham Athletic, Grimsby Town and Macclesfield Town.

The Sheffield born 'keeper was released by Wednesday at the end of the 2011/12 season and within days had penned a one-year deal with Chesterfield. Richard made just a handful of appearances for The Spireites, and also spent time on loan at Stockport County, before being released at the end of the 2012/13 season.

He joined the Saddlers in the summer of 2013 following a successful trial spell, he went on to make over fifty first team appearances during his first season with the club, and penned a new contract in January 2014 which would have kept him at the club until the end of this season.

Walsall opened negotiations with Richard over a month ago and later revealed that they had offered him a 'lucrative' two-year deal, which would have made him become one of the higher earners at Banks's Stadium.

It is suggested that O'Donnell informed management  of his decision over the past few days, which has prompted manager Smith to bring to an end his streak of appearances that has seen O'Donnell start every competitive game since joining the club, reaching 105 consecutive appearances in the process.

However there is also a school of thought that suggests that Smith is simply giving MacGillivray a run in the team as the side has already secured it's safety in the league for at least another season.

More to follow...
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