Darrell Clarke: Walsall name ex-Bristol Rovers boss as new manager

Darrell Clarke
Darrell Clarke spent four and a half years as Bristol Rovers boss before leaving in December 2018

Walsall have appointed former Bristol Rovers boss Darrell Clarke as their new manager on a three-year deal.

The Saddlers were relegated from League One on Saturday, ending a 12-year stay in the third tier.

Caretaker boss Martin O'Connor was unable to keep the club up after Dean Keates was sacked on 6 April.

Clarke, 41, left Rovers in December after four and a half years in charge, which included successive promotions from the National League to League One.

He said: "The club have had a couple of disappointing seasons and we now find ourselves in League Two.

"I want to give these brilliant fans something to shout about, put a smile on their faces and give them a team that will give their all for the club and the badge.

"I know all about the division we are in, I've had success at League Two level before and I want to bring the good times back. I will work tirelessly to achieve our shared goals."

Clarke initially joined Rovers as assistant to John Ward - now Walsall's professional development coach - in June 2013 after a stint in charge of non-league Salisbury City.

He replaced Ward as manager in March 2014 but could not stop the club from dropping out of the EFL for the first time in 94 years.

But they returned to League Two at the first attempt, beating Grimsby on penalties in the National League promotion final at Wembley, and another successful season followed in 2015-16 as Rovers secured automatic promotion from the fourth tier on the final day of the season.

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