Darrell Clarke on Walsall's Bright Future as He Prepares For a Youthful 2020/21

With many clubs expecting to face a much-reduced budget for the 2020/21 campaign, Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has spoken to the local press and admitted he may be forced to field some of the club's young prospects when the campaign gets underway.
Walsall have a proud history of producing their own players and with the likes of Joe Willis, Sam Perry and Luke Pearce already staking a claim for a place in the first-team, the manager is likely to have plenty of options at his disposal when selecting his next side.

The manager, who saw his side enjoy a welcome unbeaten run before coronavirus forced the season into suspension, insists the club remains in a solid position, but is likely to be forced into making cuts as the world of football looks to bounce back from this period of uncertainty.

Speaking via the Express & Star, Darrell said; "I have the experience of working in different scenarios and being able to adapt in an ever moving financial position.

"We're in a good place as a football club, speaking to a lot of managers, coaches and ex-players at different football clubs – we're quite fortunate.

"As a manager I will adapt to any needs and it comes first for the business to survive and the football will get on with things.

"Whether that looks like, we might have to go a bit younger next year, more than likely so, but we'll adapt to that.

"There's nothing more that fans like to see than players like Alfie Bates coming through the system and there might be more opportunities for our younger players.

"We'll move forward with that on a footballing side and we want to encourage our young players breaking through. We had Sam Perry make his debut, Joe Willis too – Alfie has had a good season as well.

"The future is bright with the young players at the football club and we're in a good position. We still have quite a few of our senior boys signed on for next year, so we're not in a bad position whatsoever."

With many hundreds of players set to become free agents at the end of June there will be no shortage of people looking for new teams in the summer so Clarke will still be able to add to his squad, however, it is encouraging to know he is happy to make use of the club's prized academy system.
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