Dean Smith: Walsall manager signs new 12-month rolling deal

Dean Smith has been manager at Bescot since January 2011
Former Walsall player Dean Smith has been manager of his home town club since January 2011

Walsall manager Dean Smith has signed a new 12-month rolling contract with the League One leaders.

The former Saddlers centre-half has been in charge at his hometown club for almost five years, making him the fourth longest-serving manager in English football's top five divisions.

He took over as Walsall boss when Chris Hutchings was sacked in January 2011.

"My current deal was up at the end of the season, so I'm glad it's been sorted," said 44-year-old Smith.

Special moment for the 'Ginger Mourinho'
Smith was voted League One's manager of the month for August - only the second time he has won it in his four years and 284 days in charge.

"I feel like I'm getting better as a manager and I just want to keep developing. And I'm happy with how we are developing as a club."

Walsall's agreement with their highly-rated manager came just over a week after they turned down an approach for Smith from Championship strugglers Rotherham United.

After going top by beating previous leaders Burton Albion last weekend, Walsall have another home game at Bescot on Saturday when they host Chesterfield.

Smith has decisions to make about Philippines goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and Cyprus right-back Jason Demetriou, who are both available again after international duty, having missed the 2-1 win over Burton.

Their replacements, Craig MacGillivray and Liam Kinsella, kept a clean sheet and scored the Saddlers' first-half opener respectively to give Smith "a good selection headache".

He added: "But that's what you want. Competition for places and everything pushing each other."