Walsall: Jon Whitney determined to show the Saddlers can be a 'special' club

Jon Whitney
Jon Whitney's association with Walsall stretches back to 2003 when he was appointed club physiotherapist

Walsall boss Jon Whitney says any new signings this summer will notice what a "special" place the League One club is.

Whitney, 45, is preparing to shape his squad ahead of his first full season in charge after being appointed the Saddlers' permanent boss on 1 June.

"We understand it'll be different this year," Whitney told BBC WM 95.6.

"With the amount of players out of contract, it means we're not going to hit every one of them so we need to be ready and flexible."

Whitney, who took temporary charge after the dismissal of Sean O'Driscoll in March, guided Walsall to a third-placed finish last season but saw their promotion hopes end with a 6-1 aggregate defeat by eventual play-off winners Barnsley in the semi-finals.

With Walsall set to announce their retained players list in the next few days, Whitney has already stated his desire to keep in-demand striker Tom Bradshaw at the Banks's Stadium, but is confident any players - either those already at the club or any new recruits - will notice the difference he is trying to make.

"I want players to walk in here and know this can be a special place," said Whitney. "Those coming in for pre-contract talks with me will notice there's an energy and that comes from me and all my staff.

"Financially we may not be able to compete with the big boys in this league but physically we can - team ethos, work ethic and discipline can stand for a lot in this league and that's what we're going to push."

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