Martin a 'Man of His Word' as Defender Keeps Promise to Sign For Walsall Martin a 'Man of His Word' as Defender Keeps Promise to Sign For Walsall
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Martin a 'Man of His Word' as Defender Keeps Promise to Sign For Walsall

Walsall manager Dean Keates has spoken to the local press and discussed the signing of former Norwich City defender Russell Martin, and admitted that he may well have missed out on his signature if he didn't already have a friendship with the 32-year-old.
Keates, who played alongside Martin during his days at Peterborough United, revealed that Russell had agreed to make Banks's Stadium his home if he only had offers from clubs in League One, and despite some sides making late moves for his signature, the defender kept his promise and penned a deal until the end of the season.

Speaking via the Express & Star, Dean said; "I don’t think I would have got him if we weren’t friends. I’ve been chasing him for weeks. There was a possibility of a move to a Championship club and he wanted to wait and see.

"But he is a man of his word and he said if he didn’t end up in the Championship, he would sign for us. Two of the biggest clubs in our division tried to sign him at the last minute.

"But he bought into what I want him to do and his role at the football club. I want him to have a role on the pitch but also off the pitch."

Martin, who will act as player/coach during his time with the club, sat in the stands on Saturday afternoon and was one of the 500+ unfortunate souls who watched as the Saddlers produced their worst display of the campaign as hosts Luton Town secured all three points.

Keates went on to confirm that the club has received confirmation of the players' registration and expects him to be able to feature in the matchday squad over the next few weeks, giving the gaffer a welcome selection headache.

Dean added; "His registration is through so it is something we can look at. But the lads have done well over the course of the season so far. He is an extra option, it’s just a case of getting him up to match speed.

"His match fitness may just be a little bit short but there will be opportunities over the next few weeks to get him game time. Knowing Russ how I do, he is fit. He spent a couple of weeks with West Brom so he has been in competitive training sessions. It’s just a case of getting minutes on the pitch."

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