Walsall: New manager Darrell Clarke brings in his own backroom staff

Former Bristol Rovers, Huddersfield Ipswich and Sunderland striker Marcus Stewart was also Darrell Clarke's number two at the Memorial Stadium
Former Bristol Rovers, Huddersfield, Ipswich and Sunderland striker Marcus Stewart (right) was also Darrell Clarke's number two at the Memorial Stadium

New Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has brought in his own staff in a backroom shake-up which includes the departure of Saddlers academy boss John Ward.

Marcus Stewart, Clarke's number two at his previous club Bristol Rovers, will take the title of assistant coach at the relegated club, now in League Two.

Brian Dutton joins from Rovers as both assistant coach and professional phase development coach.

Goalkeeping coach Michael Oakes and first-team coach Andy Davies have left.

Chief scout Gary Jenkins has also left, to take up a similar position at Bradford City.

As well as saying farewell to Ward, 68, who had worked mostly with the club's youngsters in his four years at Walsall, academy manager Graham Biggs has departed too.

After 12 months with the academy, Mark Bradley will return to his role as first team strength and conditioning coach, with Nick Barnett departing that role.

Former Teams managed
John Ward spent four years at Walsall, largely as professional development coach, as well as a brief spell as joint caretaker boss when Dean Smith left in December 2015

Former Bristol Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town and Sunderland striker Stewart, 46, worked under both Ward and Clarke at Rovers.

Dutton, 34, was Clarke's captain in his time at Salisbury City before being brought to the Memorial Stadium as assistant under-23 squad coach in March 2017.

Former York City, Bristol Rovers, Bristol City, Cheltenham Town, Carlisle United and Colchester United manager Ward first worked with Clarke when he brought him to Rovers from Salisbury in 2013.

Clarke then became Rovers manager in March 2014, with Ward moving upstairs as director of football before being sacked a month later.

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