Joe Riley says the ambition of Walsall was a key motivator of his decision to put pen to paper with the Saddlers.

The former Carlisle United man turned down the offer of a fresh contract at Brunton Park and has since agreed a two-year deal at the Poundland Bescot Stadium.

A former Manchester United youngster, Riley was a regular for the Blues over his two years in Cumbria - but took to social media earlier this summer to explain why he would be moving on.

And he has now revealed how the future plans of Walsall - who have recenly been the subject of a takeover from an American group - saw him decide to join Michael Flynn's side.

“I’m excited,” he said, speaking to Walsall's official website.

“I’m more than ready to get myself back into it now. I’ve kept myself ticking over in that time but I’m ready to get back to it now, meet the lads and hopefully have a successful season.

“To hear the ambitions of the club and to be a part of that this season and the one after is something I’m ready to buy into.

“I’ve played 84 games in the last two seasons and I feel confident within myself. I’ve come on, not just in terms of learning League Two, but mentally as well.

“I feel I am more experienced now and I can help the younger players but as well, I’m in a position where I want to learn from other players.”