Smith completes loan move

Wolves goalkeeper Jackson Smith has joined League Two side Walsall on loan for the remainder of the 2022/23 campaign.

The youngster has been at Molineux since the age of eight, rising through each age category, before stepping up to the first-team this season and working under Tony Roberts.

In recent years, Smith has gained experience in non-league football with Frickley Athletic and Kettering Town, where he kept 12 clean sheets in his 31 outings last season.

Last summer Smith linked up with the Wolves first-team for pre-season training, featuring in three separate friendlies, and has gained experience from Jose Sa and Matija Sarkic since.

Now, he embarks on his first Football League loan with the Saddlers, who currently sit 11th, four points off the play-off places in League Two.

Strategic player marketing manager Matt Jackson said: “He’s going to get experience of league football now. He’s been on a similar pathway to Louie Moulden, who had games this season with Solihull, while Jacko has been training with our first-team, and they’ll swap places now. We’re trying to mix up the experiences for the players to get the best football education and give them an insight into the professional game.

“He will have learnt a lot here. It’s good to understand the standards required every day, the strength of character and the disciplines needed. The new management team have had a good look at him and now Louie can have that exposure while Jacko gets experiences elsewhere.”

Smith’s move to Walsall is the latest example of the goalkeeping department gaining experience elsewhere, with Moulden, Joe Young, Joe O'Shaughnessy and Palmi Arinbjornsson all spending time away from Molineux, and the locality of this move benefits Wolves further.

“We want to develop these relationships with the local clubs. It’s good for all parties, player and both clubs, and we want to encourage it to grow. Jacko will still have exposure to our group, can train here and play junior games, so we’re pleased he’s local as well.

“He’s got to go and compete for a place and force his way into the team. He’ll experienced the dressing room, which is results dependant, and the pressure that brings will be a good experience for him.”