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Less than a year after signing for us from Shrewsbury Town, Josh Ginnelly is on the move again with a half season loan move to League One club Walsall.

He’s signed for a club who reached the play-offs last season and might have been automatic promotion candidates had they not suffered a difficult period after Sean O’Driscoll was appointed manager. Things picked up once Jon Whitney had taken over and they missed out on second place by one point.

Whitney has now landed Ginnelly until January after the 19-year-old winger grabbed the headlines with his late winner in the win at Bolton in what was his second outing with the first team.

1516 burnley josh ginnelly 00 630x420He’s been with us for almost a year, signing on 10th August last year as the club made a number of signings to bolster the development squad, and then spending the second half of 2015/16 at Altrincham for whom he scored five goals in twenty National League appearances.

His move to Burnley wasn’t a simple one with Shrewsbury somewhat upset at the way the move was handled by his agent. When we failed with our first bid, their chief executive Matt Williams, who is now general manager at Turf Moor, said: “Burnley made us an offer but we turned it down and told them what we felt we’d get at a tribunal. They have left their offer on the table and gone away to look at their next step.

“His agent told us he definitely wouldn’t be signing for us. His agent also reminded us Josh could go abroad or play in the Conference North for a year, but that’s a risk we’re willing to take.”

“I’m not disclosing how much the offer was. Burnley are doing what they think is right for their development group, but we’ve done some due diligence and research into similar cases that have gone to tribunal and we know where we should be and what we should be getting and we’ve told that to the agent and Burnley.”

Williams did add: “We have no issue with Burnley, they’re a great club and I know their chief executive (David Baldwin) from his time at Bradford. We’ve had a couple of open discussions with them and we’ll remain in dialogue with them.”

Just over a week later, the deal went through with Shrewsbury boss Micky Mellon admitting: “I’m glad that it has finally been resolved as it’s been a long and drawn out process. The two clubs have come to an agreement and I wish Josh well at his new club. I hope he goes on to be a huge success at Burnley and shows the potential that he has.”

Burnley fans have now had their first look at Ginnelly in these substitute appearances and suddenly his name has been thrust into the spotlight alongside those of Aiden O’Neill and Dan Agyei.

Sean Dyche was quick to add some realism to the situation. He praised them and spoke of their potential and hinted that they might be ready for some football within the Football League. That will now hopefully happen for Ginnelly at Walsall who has become the second of our young players to go out on loan to a Football League club following Alex Whitmore who has joined Morecambe until January.

On completing the move, Ginnelly said: “This is a great move for me. I’m a young player who is still learning but I back myself to do well. I was in the National League last year and I couldn’t have asked for a better loan. I learned a lot from it and now I’ve come to a club who were going for promotion in League One.

“Walsall are a very good side and I watched a lot of their games last season and it looked like they play good football. Being a winger that’s all you can ask really, getting the ball out wide and being allowed to do your stuff. That’s what I enjoy, going straight at players, getting crosses in and hopefully getting a few goals. So I’m looking forward to getting on the pitch and showing everyone what I can do.”

Saddlers’ boss Jon Whitney added: “He’s really highly thought of at Burnley. He’s got bags of natural pace and ability but needs to get some league football experience. It’s a good marriage for the environment he needs and hopefully we can benefit from his time with us.

“He’s been involved with the first team at Burnley all pre-season in friendles and training and I feel he’s ready to step up a level. He’ll provide us with raw pace in wide areas, something we need and once again his character fits the profile we’re after.”

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