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Smith given Walsall role

01 Apr 2011 10:30:15

Smith given Walsall role

Dean Smith has been appointed Walsall manager on a full-time basis, signing a two-year deal with the npower League One club.Smith, the Saddlers` youngest ever captain during his playing days aged just 19, has been rewarded for an upturn in results since first being handed the reins from sacked predecessor Chris Hutchings.The 40-year-old took charge on a temporary basis at the start of January, with the midlands outfit rock bottom of League One and eight points from safety.Yet the club`s former head of youth was soon handed the position until the end of the season, beating off competition from over 90 other applicants, following two impressive away draws and a home defeat to high-flying Huddersfield in his first three games.And he has now been appointed on a permanent basis on the back of just four defeats in 15 games since, a sequence which has left 21st-placed Walsall with a real shot at survival and within touching distance of those just above the drop zone, albeit having played more matches."It is an honour to be given the job on a full-time basis," said Smith, who made over 150 appearances for Walsall between 1989 and 1994. "This is a fantastic opportunity for me personally at a club very close to my heart. I am fully focused on the immediate task at hand of avoiding the drop and now that my future has been resolved I can start to plan for the long-term."


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