Walsall Set to Link Up With Local Clubs as Starlets Seek First-Team Football

Manager Jon Whitney, who has already agreed to work with Stafford Rangers, has also held talks with Solihull Moors assistant Keith Bertschin and Kidderminster Harriers number two Matt Gardiner.
As he looks to make the most of the club's youth and development systems, Walsall manager Jon Whitney has spoken to the local press and discussed his desire to link up with local non-league sides and secure some much needed first-team football for his up-and-coming stars.

Speaking to the Express & Star's Walsall correspondent Joseph Masi, Jon discussed the possibility of linking up with teams from several leagues in order to get as many opportunities for the future Saddlers stars, he said; "We have got so many young players coming through and we need to improve the pathway to the first team. The likes or Jordon Sangha and Milan Butterfield have done really well in the under 23s but they aren't going to benefit massively by playing at that level again next season.

"They need to be playing on a weekly basis, ideally against men. I'm looking at a three tier system. I'd like to get ties with a team in the National League, National League North and Evo-Stik Northern Premier.

"But football is all about trust. We need to know the clubs will look after the players. Likewise they need to trust us that if we recommend a player they will be able to play at their level. I fully appreciate they are playing for livelihoods as well so any deal has to be right for everyone."

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