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LEAGUE ONE INSIGHT: Walsall FC

10 July 2015

In this feature, we take an in-depth look at the 23 other teams in Sky Bet League One this season.

Walsall FC

Nickname: 
The Sadlers

Founded: 
1888

Ground: 
The Banks's Stadium

Capacity: 
11,300

League position last season: 
14th - Sky Bet League One 

2014/15 top goalscorer: 
Tom Bradshaw (21)

Manager: 
Dean Smith - The 44-year-old took over the reigns at the Banks's Stadium in January 2011 and is one of the longest serving managers in the Football League.

Smith held the head of youth role before taking the caretakers role at the club as Chris Hutchins was sacked.

After a playing career at Walsall, Hereford Leyton Orient, Sheffield Wednesday and Port Vale, Smith hung up his boots in 2005. 

The Walsall boss returned to Leyton Orient to take up the assistant manager's role to Martin Ling.

He left there in 2009 when Ling was sacked as manager. Whilst there, he attained his UEFA Pro Licence alongside Brendan Rodgers and Roy Keane.

Last season he guided Walsall to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final but lost to Bristol City in the final.

He is now busy preparing his side for the start of the season, with Latics making the trip to the Banks's Stadium on the opening day of the season.

Key player:
Sam Mantom - The 23-year-old is a former Oldham Athletic loanee, playing three games on loan from West Brom.

Mantom could not manage to get into the Baggies starting 11 and moved to Walsall on loan in 2012. 

He impressed during his 13 games, scoring three goals and earned himself a permanent move in 2013 once his contract with West Brom had expired.

He has made 68 appearances in his two year spell with the club so far, scoring seven goals.

Head-to-head:
The history books show that Latics have faced Walsall 52 times in all competitions, winning 20 and losing 21.

Latics were 2-1 victors over the Sadlers at SportsDirect.com Park whilst Walsall picked up the victory in the reverse fixture, winning 2-0 in the final away game of the season. 

Sky Bet League One odds:
Win outright: 28/1
Promotion: 9/1
Relegation: 9/2

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