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Clarke appointed manager of relegated Walsall

Relegated Walsall have named Darrell Clarke as their new manager on a three-year contract.

The Saddlers’ 12-year stay in League One was ended last weekend after a poor run of form which saw them win just five league games since the end of October.

Clarke, who has previously managed Salisbury and Bristol Rovers, now faces the task of building for an immediate return to the third tier.

“I can’t wait to get started,” Clarke told the club’s official website.

“I am excited by the challenge that lies ahead. This is a great club and I can’t wait to get my teeth into the task at hand.

“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.”

Walsall chief executive Stefan Gamble hailed the 41-year-old’s track record after he secured back-to-back promotions with Rovers.

“Darrell arrives with an excellent track record,” Gamble said. “He’s young and hungry but, at the same time, he has over 400 games under his belt as a manager. That is phenomenal for someone who is still so young.

“He has a clear vision for the football club that is shared by the board and I’m sure he will be well received by our supporters. We are all looking forward to working with Darrell in what I am sure will be an exciting chapter for Walsall Football Club.”