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Club News

Focus On: Walsall

10 July 2016

The Saddlers lost out in the Play-Offs last season

Name: Walsall Football Club
Founded: 1888
Stadium: Banks’s Stadium
Capacity: 11, 300
Manager: Jon Whitney
Last season: Third in League One

After suffering the disappointment of missing out on both automatic, and promotion from the Play-Offs last season, Walsall will be hoping to go one further next term, when the new EFL League One campaign commences in August.

The Saddlers finished third in the division, behind Wigan Athletic and Burton Albion, prior to losing out to Barnsley over two legs in the Play-Off semi-final.

After an indifferent season for the Midlands outfit, Jon Whitney has been tasked with guiding Walsall to promotion up to the Championship, having been appointed at the Banks’s Stadium back in early March, initially on a caretaker basis, before getting the job on a full-time basis in June.

During a prolonged stay in the lower leagues of the English game, Whitney started out as a trainee with Wigan Athletic in 1988 – spending a year at their Springfield Park home, before moving onto pastures new with Skelmersdale United.

The Nantwich-native spent time with Winsford United, Huddersfield Town and a second stint at Wigan in the early 1990’s – with a move to Lincoln City next on the agenda in 1996.

Whitney was a member of the squad at Sincil Bank for three seasons, a period of time in which he appeared on 101 occasions for the Imps, scoring eight times for his side.

He spent two-years at Lincoln’s near-neighbours, Hull City from 1999-2001. Whitney finally hung up his boots at non-league outfit, Kings Lynn in 2002.

In January 2011, Whitney became the assistant manager at Walsall, when Dean Smith was first appointed in charge, during Smith’s four-year stewardship of the club, he combined his roles of Club Physiotherapist, and coaching.

Following Sean O’Driscoll’s departure in March, Whitney was subsequently appointed on a caretaker basis, seeing out the remainder of the 2015/16 season, before his appointment as first team manager shortly after the campaign had concluded.

FTFC host Walsall on Saturday 10th December at Highbury, Steven Pressley’s side make the return trip to the Banks’s Stadium on Tuesday 14th March 2017.

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