Dean Smith: Walsall manager signs extended contract

Walsall boss Dean Smith has signed an extended deal, tying him to the League One club until the summer of 2016.

The 42-year-old, who began his playing career at the club, has been in charge of the Saddlers since January 2011.

Dean Smith's career details

  • West Bromwich-born Dean began his career with Walsall at Fellows Park in 1989.
  • Made a total of 674 appearances, scoring 72 goals, in a 16-year playing career with Walsall, Hereford United, Leyton Orient, Sheffield Wednesday and Port Vale.
  • Spent four years as assistant manager to Martin Ling at Orient.
  • Returned to Bescot as head of youth in July 2009, taking over as manager following Chris Hutchings' sacking in January 2011.
  • Saved his side from the drop in 2011, fought another successful relegation campaign the following season then, after 16 games without a win last autumn, transformed his side from relegation candidates to play-off contenders with a run of just two defeats in 23 games.
  • After 142 games in charge of Walsall, has a record of 42 wins, 43 defeats and 57 draws.

Having succeeded Chris Hutchings following a brief spell as caretaker manager, Smith signed a new two-and-a-half year contract in October 2012, but has now agreed a 12-month extension.

"From the start, this was always going to be a long-term project," said Smith.

"We're still in the early stages of that, but things are certainly progressing well.

"I want to continue building for the future of this club and, whilst I am offering the players longer term deals, it gives it more credence if I have the same.

"This club is known for trying to do things the correct way and we are investing in the infrastructure of the club to make it a more forward-thinking place with solid foundations."

League One play-off hopefuls Walsall, who still stand ninth in the table despite having picked up just two points from their last three games, now have to sort out the long-term future of Smith's deputy Richard O'Kelly,

"It allows me to sit down with Richard O'Kelly, who has been a big part of what we are trying to achieve here, and put plans in place to secure his future with the club.," added Smith.