Russell Martin joins Walsall as a player-coach

NORWICH, ENGLAND - JULY 29: Russell Martin of Norwich in action during the pre-season friendly match between Norwich City and Brighton & Hove Albion at Car
Image: Former Norwich captain Russell Martin is set to join Walsall

Former Norwich and Rangers defender Russell Martin has joined Walsall as a player-coach until the end of the season.

Martin, who was a free agent after leaving Norwich by mutual consent at the end of last season, takes his first steps into coaching as part of Dean Keates' backroom staff at the Bescot Stadium.

The 32-year-old spent the season half the 2017-18 campaign on loan at Rangers, where he made 10 appearances.

Martin could also make his playing debut for the Saddlers on Saturday when they face Luton at Kenilworth Road.

"I'm very excited to be here," he said.

"It's been rumbling on for a while. I felt this was the perfect opportunity for me to come into a club that is doing really well, with a manager I know and trust.

"The fact he wants me to get involved in the coaching side as well was a big draw for me. He's been on the phone to me constantly over the last few weeks and I'm happy to finally get it sorted.

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"I'm hoping to add some value on and off the pitch, predominantly as a player. If I can help them off the pitch, which I hope I will with my experience in the game, I believe it will improve us as individuals and as a team."

Keates added: "It's a massive coup for us. He's someone I know from being in the changing room and playing with him for three years down at Peterborough.

"We've remained in touch ever since and it was always a case of just waiting and waiting. It's been a drawn-out process but eventually we've got to where we want to be."

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