Walsall must travel to meet Coca Cola League Two crisis club Accrington Stanley in the first round of the Carling Cup on Tuesday, August 11, (7.45), writes The Saddler.
As a seeded team, the Saddlers were bound to face either a side who finished below them in League One, or a team from the lower division, and a trip to the Fraser Eagle Stadium is the outcome.
Accrington have been in financial trouble, so they will be desperate for a decent cup run to generate a bit of cash, but Walsall are just as keen to make progress in view of last season’s poor effort in cup competitions.
Club spokesman Dan Mole said: “A home draw would have been nice, but we face a team from below us in the Football League so it gives us an excellent chance of making progress in the competition.”
You might have guessed Walsall would be away - fans already face travelling over 6,000 miles if they attend every away league fixture! At the time of writing there was still no news of any team strengthening following striker Jabo Ibehre’s decision to sign for League One rivals MK Dons. And French winger Sofiene Zaaboub has yet to decide whether he wants another season here.
But manager Chris Hutchings should have a little more cash to play with following Coventry City’s decision to sell former Walsall centre-back Scott Dann to Premierhsip new boys Birmingham City for more than £3 million.
When Dann was sold by the Saddlers the season before last, there was a sell-on clause, so some welcome cash will be falling into the Bescot coffers. Exactly how much, we don’t know, but the figure of £250,000 seems a reasonable possibility.
Following the release of Paul Boertien, who has joined Burton Albion, young Netan Sansara could be the first choice left back, and he said this week: “This is a big season for me. I’ve been a professional for a couple of years now and it seems people have been talking about me breaking into the first team for a while. Now is the time to make a name for myself and become established as the first choice left-back.”
Match day packages for Walsall’s attractive pre-season friendlies with Wolves (Tuesday, July 21) and West Brom (Saturday, July 25) are now on sale. For £35, they include car parking, four-course pre-match carvery meal in the Bonser Suite, programme, centre stand ticket, light refreshments at half-time, and access to bar facilities before and after the games.
To book a place call the commercial department on 01922 651412.
l From now, the main reception and general inquiry number at the Banks’s Stadium will be 01922 622791, and the ticket office number 01922 651414/651416. They replace the old 0871 numbers, which should make it less expensive to call.