Ahead of our next home league game of the season, we take a look at the views and opinions of three fans of our opponents Chesterfield.
ZEUS – I moved to Chesterfield at the age of 3 in 1997. The first game I remember was in the old Family Stand at Saltergate to witness a 0-0 versus Gillingham, which Soccerbase tells me was Feb 2000, and the Spireites netted three goals which were ruled out for offside. That confusion and frustation of being a Chesterfield fan I suspect will never leave me.
BILLYBOB – I got dragged along by hubby about four years ago and got hooked straightaway – I now feel I am more of a fan than he is!
TODDHOPPER – I finally managed to persuade my mother to take me to a match at the age of nine back in April 1979. We lost 3-1 to Lincoln City but I was hooked anyway. My clearest memory of the day is sitting in the stand wondering why there wasn’t a commentator like on Match Of The Day!
1. How do you expect your team to do this season?
ZEUS – There’s really no telling as we’re a complete enigma to this league. Early signs seem to match my pre-season guess that mid-table would be a realistic location for us.
BILLYBOB – Expect us to finish just below half way in the table.
TODDHOPPER – I expect us to hold our own this season and gain a respectable tenth place finish.
2. Who should we watch out for?
ZEUS – Sam Morsy, but you’ll know all about him. He’s one of the best midfielders in the league and will play at a higher level than this.
BILLYBOB – The big man – Armand – if he plays he will totally confuse your defence with his bizarre play.
TODDHOPPER – Roberts and O’Shea.
3. What are your thoughts on your manager and his signings this season?
ZEUS – Paul Cook always speaks with real integrity. He’s delivered what he’s promised and will never shirk from his footballing principles. He’s been somewhat hindered by those above him in his progress in the market this summer, so our one real signing is Daniel Jones, another one you’ll be familiar with. I’ve been really very impressed by Jonesy – it looks like this team is the right one for him and he’s the right one for us.
BILLYBOB – No opinion really – I wish he would sign a striker but doubt that’s his decision.
TODDHOPPER – Fantastic manager and good signings though there just haven’t been enough of them.
4. What are your thoughts on your board and off-field club activities?
ZEUS – All the talk this summer has been about off-field activities. Chairman Dave Allen pulled the plug on our overspend and refused to sanction new signings until we could afford to make them. That’s fair enough, but the board seemed to not realise that we had no budget until mid-July. Fair to say, there was a bit of drama and calamity around the club, which is a real shame because we should all still be riding the crest of a wave following the title victory back in May.
BILLYBOB – None.
TODDHOPPER – The board have done a great job overall. With Dave Allen on board we have been promoted as champions twice and got to the JPT final twice. Most lower league fans would bite your hand off for that kind of success. On the downside we failed to prepare properly for league One the last time we were promoted and this time though we have a better team we have still got in a bit of a mess with our budget. Hopefully the sale of Cooper to Leeds will enable us to strengthen before the close of the transfer window.
5. Which one Vale player would you take past or present to add value to your squad?
ZEUS – Of course we need a forward, so give us Tom Pope if you would.
BILLYBOB – Tom Pope.
TODDHOPPER – Sam Morsy.
6. How do you expect Vale to do this season?
ZEUS – I’m in no place to give you an informed prediction, so this comes with a complimentary pinch of salt: mid-table/bottom half.
BILLYBOB – Expect you to finish just outside play offs.
TODDHOPPER – One place above or one place below us.
7. What is your team’s most memorable game with Vale?
ZEUS – The one that sorely sticks in my mind is the 0-5 at Saltergate when Marc Richards netted a hat-trick. I’m pretty sure I was vainly fighting tears back.
BILLYBOB – Can’t really remember.
TODDHOPPER – 2-0 home win in 2011. We played you off the park that day.
8. A score prediction?
ZEUS – Vale 1-1 Chesterfield
BILLYBOB – Score prediction 2-1 to you unfortunately. Pope with both yours, Doyle with ours (hope I’m wrong!!).
TODDHOPPER – 1-0 Chesterfield. The winner will be scored by Gary Roberts.