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Walsall - Out With The Old In With The New!!

Started on 31 July 2013 by Walsall_Craig
Latest Reply on 16 August 2013 by Walsall_Craig
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The Official Podcast of Midlands Footy
Midlands Footy:
Welcome to my Podcast, Today I have arranged to meet with former Saddlers Manager Sir Ray Graydon and new Walsall boss Craig Blick. we will be asking those questions that you have tweeted or posted on my facebook group. Fans this podcast will be available tomorrow morning, I will let you know when on Twitter and Facebook.
Craig B: Thank you for having me.
S.R-Graydon: Thank you for having me.

Midlands Footy:
My first question comes from Twitter and its from @SuperSaddlers2012 and its for you Sir Ray:
You have great experience from managing Walsall, are you going to give the new boss any tips or ideas?

S.R-Graydon:
Thank You for your question! I would be willing to give some of ideas I have when I was Walsall Manager, Craig is one of the newest upcoming managers in the game and I would gladly help him as this could be a great learning curve as you have alot of pressure managing a club especially with a new owner, When I was incharge I had former Owner Jeff Bonser. Walsall is a club close to my heart, I was sad to leave but its nice to see a fresh face at the club as we havent had a good time lately with the last couple of Managers.

Me:
Thank you for those kind words Sir, I would be glad to hear what ideas and tips you have for me I am always willing to learn what great experienced managers have it could help this club, having you at this club would be great for the fans and players as you were loved by everyone, you had the players respect and personally I think it would be great if you were here! We can discuss after this podcast what will happen. I want to replicate what you did for this club all those many years ago by winning the Play-Offs and getting back into the Championship!!


Midlands Footy:
The second question is my question; What are you going to bring to the club, what philosophy you have?

Me:
We have a very good squad and think we can be a team team, we have alot of good young players like Mal Benning, Jamie Paterson, Paul Downing and many more, So i will more than likely mix experience and inexperience. This will help the younger players gain experience from the more experiened heads like Jimmy Walker, Andy Butler, The Chamber twins. I hope to expect to be playing different types of tactics, my favourite tactic is 4-4-2 attacking, having to pacey wingers who can supply the ball for the strikers like Grigg and Bowerman(or whoever will be in my strike force in the upcoming season.

S.R.Graydon:
Craig has a excellent philosophy, its great to give young players a chance of making the first team to show the fans and also Craig what they have got to offer! Walsall have experienced players like Craig said who can help this talented youngsters. I think the position that could learn the most is the Goalkeepers like Liam Roberts, because they have one of the best keepers in the Walsall squad that I have seen in the Wacka - Jimmy Walker. Also Walker(Jimmy) has had spells in the Best League In The World - the Premiership! he had a spell at West Ham United when he left Walsall, then after he left them he had greater experience when joining their rivals Spurs and became a goalkeeping coach their, so after Jimmy retires Craig should think of getting Jimmy in the backroom staff as the Goalkeeping Coach.


Midlands Footy:
The next question is from a West Brom fan Andy Giles
Sir Ray you are highest thought of with Walsall fans, I think you are a fantastic coach, I would of liked you at West Brom.

S.R.G:
Thank you, Andy! I did have interest in me from your club but I wanted to do great things with Walsall as I have always had something close with them and couldnt leave.

Me:
Its nice to hear from our rivals that Walsall had a such a manager in the calibre of the legend that is sitting next to me!


Midlands Footy:
Craig with the new owner taking over the club now, With the squad are you looking to add players to give competition? As this will help players train better and fight for their place in your place.

Me:
I will maybe look at adding a few players into the squad for healthy competition, but wont be adding to many! I dont want players to come to me and complain that their is too much competition for them! you have to give every player a chance! I will definetly be looking to add a couple of Goalkeepers as Jimmy is coming close to ending his career and want to bring in a player that will be hungry to emulate his success.

S.R.G:
Craig has a point you can always bring in new players and give them competition! But me personally would look to bring in a few loanees from the Premiership as they have very good talent, from the likes of Manchester United,Liverpool,Arsenal,Chelsea etc.
We have had good loanees at this club recently especially the talented Flo Culivier from Stoke! He was a gem and half i would love Walsall to try and bring him back to the club on loan or even permanently as he is a star for the future!


Midlands Footy:
My final question is what do you think to the new owner of the club, was you shocked to hear the news that he brought your beloved club, We have obviously seen that the ex-owner didnt spend much while he was running the club as on record the last time money was spent was when you brought Jorge Leitao to the club for £175k.

Me:
Yes i was shocked when I heard the news that Sir Alan Sugar brought the club I have supported all my life, as we all know him from The Apprentice and that he is a very wealthy man and can pump money into the club and bring success to this club as he has in businesses across the UK and abroad. I know that alot of Managers where in the frame to take over Dean at the end of the season due to him having a bad time in the relegation battle, so the stronghold had to be changed to try and bring success to the club, I heard the likes of Roy Keane, Stuart Pearce, Mick McCarthy were in the running for this little team, But I surprised to see that they decided to take me on, I was only having a joke with friends and E-mailed my CV to apply for the job, you have heard stories of Football Manager fans applying for jobs like that lad who applied for the Crewe job and I also heard that a lad got the job of his teams 'B' squad.
Masterscout Piet de Visser has offered to search some players for you. Outside Bakkali from PSV, look at the freebies in the spoiler.

Very interesting takeover saga :) It will be interesting to see how Sir Alan Sugar works as the owner after his stint Spurs. Can't wait to see who comes in :)
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I loved your Blue Moon Rising story and it is great to see you back writing again!
I love it so far and can't wait for more. Good luck ;)
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i'm liking this story so far good luck with Walsall
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Transfers In
Sam Johnstone - Man United - £300k -GK
Manasseh Ishiaku - Free - ST
Djimi Traore - Free - LB
Darnell Fisher - Celtic - £40k - RB
Johnny Russell - Dundee United - £1.4mil - ST
Courtney Cameron - Aston Villa - £150k - LB/LM
Steven Lawless - Patrick Thistle - £100k - LM
Nakhi Wells - Bradford City - £1.3mil - ST
Mirko Pieri - Free - LB
JJ Hooper - Free - ST
SImon Thomas - Free - GK
Ben Sayer - Free - CM - Youth
Doyle Middleton - Free - CM - Youth
Alex Pursehouse - Free - RB
Jody Craddock - Wolves - £75k - CB
Tom Thorpe - Man United - £160k - CB

Transfers Out
George Bowerman - Luton - Loan
Matt Preston - Southport - Loan
Paul Downing - Mansfield Town - Loan
Reece Flanaghan - Stalybridge Celtic - Loan
Kieron Morris - Stalybridge Celtic - Loan
Jake Heath - Hereford United - Loan
Daniel Griffiths - Hereford United - Loan
Ben George - Lincoln City - Loan
Jake Jones - Wrexham - Loan
Ooooohh Nahki Wells!!! Big fee but he could do the business. The legend that is Djimi Traore too :)
2013-08-05 15:05#125542 P-KIDDY : Ooooohh Nahki Wells!!! Big fee but he could do the business. The legend that is Djimi Traore too :)

yeah i feel its too big, but i've paid like £800k upfront and £250k for promotion and £250k for 20 goals

so it spreads out, he is only 22 so still young and has plenty of time to shine :) now ive got Fabian Brandy out loan deal to Kidderminster he will be starting alot more now
New Signings


Sam Johnstone



The young goalkeeper from Premier League Club Manchester United, was originally going to be signed onloan for the season but I wanted to secure this young keeper to a long-term contract as I seem him as my No.1 Goalkeeper in the years to come will provide competition aswsell.

Transfer Fee: £300,000



Nakhi Wells



This young Bradford striker has been prolific for his club, and he has a very good talent, and I felt he was too good to stay in League Two, I feel he has time to shine within my Walsall squad and has good competition for a starting place, The price I paid I feel was abit pricey but you have to pay for talent! Signing for the future

Transfer Fee: £1.3million



Darnell Fisher



Young Right-Back for Scottish Champions Celtic, he was sat in the reserves squad wasting away his talent, so I did an intense scouting on this young lad and my scout came back and said he is a 'star of the future' so I had to offer more than the £20,000 they wanted for him, so I happily doubled their evaluation, which they happily accepted. Glad to have this young lad in my club, will be getting experience RB James Chambers to tutor him hopefully that it will go well.

Transfer Fee: £40,000


Manassah Ishiaku



This experience striker I signed on a free transfer, his stats are particularly good, with this player recently playing in Germany with FC Koln, I hope he will bring the experience I need upfront and will be used alot during this season with possibly using him as a loan striker or playing behind the first striker.

Transfer Fee: FREE


Johnny Russell



This is a very good striker from the Scottish Leagues, I brought him in as he has been touted as one of the best in Scotland, so was happy to try and sign him to this club as we need strikers who can score goals! The fee I was totally fine with as you need to pay for strikers with his calibre. Lets hope he can bring his goalscoring boots to this club also.

Transfer Fee: £1.4million


Djimi Traore



I saw that this ex-liverpool left back was on the free players list so had to sign him up for the experience we badly lack at the back, some players would love to be in the same team as him, he had very good seasons in the colours of Red with Liverpool, lets hope he could bring his form to the Midlands with this Red team. Will also be getting him to tutor talented Left Back Malvind Benning.

Transfer Fee: Free


Tom Thorpe



Another signing from Premier League side Manchester United, this young centre back is in the top of his game playing for one of the best Reserve teams in England, he has been out loan for the past few seasons, and he has been in top form, This player had to be signed due to his talent, he will hook up with team-mate Sam Johnstone at Bescot Stadium, lets hope they can gel aswell as they did at Old Trafford.

Transfer Fee: £160,000
Russell and Wells! Now that's a mean strike force that should help you climb the leagues in no time! Very good insight on why you bought them :)
New Signings Continued

Mirko Pieri



Mirko Pieri, a very experienced Left-Back who will give me competition for Djimi Traore, This will mean Andy Taylor will be going out onloan to get that much needed first-team action.

Transfer Fee: FREE


Ben Sayer



This young ex-Newcastle trainee who I have signed to give that much needed experience for my young youth squad, signed for 2years.

Transfer Fee: Free



Doyle Middleton



This former Preston midfielder who I have also signed for my Youth/Reserve side, very small amount of experience, will be loaned out.

Transfer Fee: Free



Steven Lawless



This young Scottish midfielder I have signed from Partick Thistle for competition with Courtney Cameron and Jamie Paterson. Will bring in the pace for my attacking side

Transfer Fee: £100,000



Courtney Cameron



This youngster from local Rivals Aston Villa, will be the competition for Lawless.

Transfer Fee: £150,000
Some brilliant signings there Craig. Good luck with your story, I will be following!
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Almost a new squad :P
Capital One Cup First Round



This was a very entertaining match, sadly we lost in extra time, I tried a formation I never usually try as I wanted to bring more into midfield and using a lone striker, but as you can see this didn't goto plan, so I will be sticking with my original formations of 4-4-2 attacking or 4-3-3.

Will be concentrating on trying to win the Johnstones Paint Trophy as I personally don't see me getting past the 2nd Round depending who we face ofcourse.


Man Of The Match: Rui Marques - Nottingham Forest



He had a fantastic game against my Walsall team, but he didn't really have much to defend as only having one striker upfront, but he did very well against my attacking widemen, by shutting them out and using his strength against my young side.



Next match:

Opening game against Portsmouth in Npower League One.
Unlucky on losing that game against Forest, but I know you will soon find your feet with Walsall within the coming weeks :)

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