Young Walsall trio agree their first professional deals

Connor Deards, Joey Butlin and Jake Jones (saddlers.co.uk)
Deards, Butlin and Jones will train with the first-team squad

Walsall have awarded first professional contracts to three young players who have come through the ranks at the Banks's Stadium.

Jake Jones, Connor Deards and Joey Butlin, all 18, have signed one-year contracts with a further year's option.

"Jake, Connor and Joey have worked really hard and developed well over the past two years of their scholarship," said Saddlers boss Dean Smith.

"They fully deserve to be awarded professional contracts."

Smith is well aware of the trio's qualities after coaching them all during his time as Head of Youth under former manager Chris Hutchings.

"Jake is a wide left player who can beat players easily and has excellent ball control - he also has a good attitude which will stand him in good stead," he noted.

"Connor is a natural finisher with great physical ability. He has been sharp in front of goal and has made good progress.

"Joey has worked really hard and has come on leaps and bounds since arriving at the club."

All three players will now train with a first-team squad that has seen three new arrivals this week in Mat Sadler, Kevan Hurst and Ryan Jarvis.

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