Darrell Clarke: Former Bristol Rovers Boss Named as Walsall's New Manager Darrell Clarke: Former Bristol Rovers Boss Named as Walsall's New Manager

Darrell Clarke: Former Bristol Rovers Boss Named as Walsall's New Manager

Walsall FC have today confirmed that former Sailsbury City and Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke has agreed to become the club's new first-team manager on a three-year contract.
41-year-old Clarke, who recently saw his odds of becoming the next Saddlers boss slashed to 8/11 played for the likes of Mansfield Town, Hartlepool United, Stockport County, Port Vale, Rochdale and Salisbury City during an 18-year near 500 game playing career, is currently out of work after leaving Rovers in mid December, following a string of poor results.

Clarke enjoyed immediate success as a manager, leading Saisbury to promotion from the Southern League Premier Division, with Hednesford Town beaten 3-2 on penalties in the 2010/11 play-off final.

His second season produced a respectable tenth-place finish and a club-record run to the FA Cup third round, where they faced Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Clarke’s stock rose even further in 2012/13 after guiding City to runners-up spot and promotion from Conference South after a 3-2 extra-time play-off final victory over Dover Athletic.

Winning 84 of his 157 matches in charge of Salisbury, Clarke joined Bristol Rovers as assistant-manager to John Ward in June 2013 and took the top job the following March.

Unable to rescue Rovers from relegation, he achieved promotion back to the EFL at the first attempt with a penalty shootout win over Grimsby Town in the Conference Premier play-off final.

The Pirates then went on to secure a second successive promotion in 2015/16, pipping Accrington Stanley to third place in League Two after a last-gasp final-day victory over Dagenham & Redbridge.

A period of consolidation followed, with Rovers placing 10th and 13th in League One over the next two seasons, before Clarke left his post in December 2018.

Saddlers chief executive Stefan Gamble, spoke to club journalists and welcomed Darrell to the club, he said; "Darrell arrives with an excellent track record. He’s young and hungry but, at the same time, he has over 400 games under his belt as a manager. That is phenomenal for someone who is still so young.

"He has a clear vision for the football club that is shared by the Board and I’m sure he will be well-received by our supporters. We are all looking forward to working with Darrell in what I am sure will be an exciting chapter for Walsall Football Club."
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