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Keates to Consider Loaning Saddlers Starlets Out as Fitness is Key

With the 2018/19 Sky Bet League One campaign just around the corner, Walsall manager Dean Keates has spoken to the local press and discussed the importantce of the squad's younger players keeping themselves fit over the summer so they can hit the ground running when they return to training.

39-year-old, Walsall-born Keates, who went through his fair share of pre-season's, also discussed his hopes that the squad's younger players will be able to keep up with their more experienced teammates so they will be ready and able when called upon.

The manager also admitted that if they young players, including hot-prospect Mitchel Candlin, are not quite up to fitness they may be loaned out in order to gain experience and match sharpness as there won't be room for passengers if the team are to improve on last season's disappointing campaign.

Speaking via the Express & Star, Dean said; "A loan for Mitch is a possibility. But all the players will come back in for pre-season and the young lads will be treated on the same lines as the older players. It’s a case of keeping yourself ticking over.

"Pre-season when we start, it’s hard work. But if you're 40, 50, 60 yards behind everyone else you’re not going to help yourself. You have got to look after yourself through the summer. All the players have been given individual programs and they need to stick to them and come back and give themselves the best opportunity.

"Then when the fixtures come in for pre-season, we will go into games and if they get minutes they have to give themselves the best opportunity. If that doesn’t happen then we’ll have to look at the possibility of loaning them out to get some experience."

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