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Page last updated at 08:45 GMT, Friday, 31 July 2009 09:45 UK

Smith to bring locals to Walsall

Walsall

Walsall's new head of youth Dean Smith says he wants to bring the best youngsters from the West Midlands into the club.

Smith spent five years as a player at the Saddlers, and was a team-mate of current manager Chris Hutchings.

He plans for a "conveyor belt" of players coming into the first team.

"It's very similar to my last club, Leyton Orient, where a third of the squad had come through the youth system," he told BBC WM.

"I'm hoping there'll be continuity throughout the club with a conveyor belt of players coming through."

Smith started his career at Fellows Park before joining Hereford United in 1994.

You've got more chance of your kid coming through a club like Walsall and going on to play in the first team

Dean Smith

He later played for Leyton Orient, Sheffield Wednesday and Port Vale, before a spell as assistant manager with Orient.

Smith says Walsall and Orient have a similar approach towards their youth systems.

"Walsall are exactly the same, we rely on it heavily because of the limited budget for the first team.

"You've got more chance of your kid coming through a club like Walsall and going on to play in the first team.

"There isn't that chance at the top clubs, because the Premier League is a global game and the market is massive," he added.

Smith spent part of his time at Orient managing the reserve and youth teams, and his role at Walsall will involve work alongside Hutchings and assistant manager Martin O'Connor.

"I know both how they think and what sort of players they're looking for," Smith said.



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