Walsall ended the 2017/17 Sky Bet League One season firmly in mid-table in the English third-tier and manager Jon Whitney has now decided upon who he wants ahead of the new campaign. Contract offers have been handed out eight squad members, whilst a further seven have been told to find themselves a new club.
A total of 15 were already under contract for next season at the Banks’s Stadium, plus another has the chance to have his deal extended because of an option in his contract. Plans are certainly well under way for the Saddlers as they look to improve upon their 14th place finish next time around.
Focusing on those who will be staying, a three-year deal has been handed out to goalkeeper Neil Etheridge. The 27-year-old has been a regular starter over the past season and is clearly someone who Whitney thinks an awful lot of. Another goalkeeper, Liam Roberts, who spent the season with National League side Chester on loan, has also been offered an extension of one-year. Young defender Matt Preston has been given a two-year deal should he wish to sign it as well. Completing the offers are youngsters Cameron Peters, Rory Oliver, Tobias Hayles-Docherty, Will Shorrock and Sam Tonks. There is an option to extend captain Adam Chambers’ stay at the club for another year. He has been with the club since 2011.
Midfielders Franck Moussa and Isaiah Osbourne have both been allowed to leave the club. The central midfielders both made over 20 appearances for the club over the past season. Osbourne started just over half of their league games, whilst Moussa played just 14 times from the start. Both are experienced and should find themselves new employment. Sub keeper Craig MacGillivray will also seek pastures new, in addition to youngsters Theo Vassell, Bradley Caswell, Lezion Cela and Ashley Maddocks.
Offered new contracts: Neil Etheridge, Liam Roberts, Matt Preston, Rory Oliver, Tobias Hayles-Docherty, Cameron Peters, Will Shorrock & Sam Tonks.
Released: Craig MacGillivray, Franck Moussa, Isaiah Osbourne, Theo Vassell, Bradley Caswell, Lezion Cela & Ashley Maddocks.
Option to extend contract for one-year: Adam Chambers.