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Bonser Disappointed as Smith Departs

Following the news that Walsall manager Dean Smith and First Team Coach Richard O'Kelly had agreed terms with Brentford, Saddlers Chairman Jeff Bonser spoke to club journalists and has discussed his,and the club's, disappointment that Dean and Richard had chosen to leave the club.
Following the news that Walsall manager Dean Smith and First Team Coach Richard O'Kelly had agreed terms with Brentford, Saddlers Chairman Jeff Bonser spoke to club journalists and has discussed his,and the club's, disappointment that Dean and Richard had chosen to leave the club.

Speaking via Saddlers.co.uk, Jeff said; "We are disappointed to lose Dean. He is the fourth longest serving manager in English Football and would have been at the helm for five years in January. We categorically did not want him to leave this football club and did all we could to keep him at the helm.

"He has been fantastic for Walsall Football Club and, in turn, we have been fantastic for him. We gave him his opportunity in management and believed in him throughout his tenure.

"He helped keep us in League One at the end of his first season and made gradual improvement throughout his time in charge; culminating in a first Wembley appearance earlier this year and an excellent start to the current campaign. We thank him, and Richard O'Kelly, for their hard work and efforts. However, we now have to look to the future.

"We have a blue print and philosophy at Walsall Football Club that we are committed to and will ensure that continues to grow and flourish. We find ourselves in the somewhat unusual position of looking to recruit a new management team whilst in such a strong position both on and off the field. I am sure we will have a high number of applicants for the role and it is the job of myself and the Board of Directors to ensure that we make the right appointment.

"In the meantime John Ward, Jon Whitney and Neil Cutler will take temporary control of first team matters."
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