There are quite a number of former Valiants at new clubs this summer. Here’s an update on how some of them are faring.
Former loan right-back James O’Connor was released by Derby County in the summer and he has linked up with Vale’s arch-rivals Walsall. O’Connor signed a one-year deal. However, O’Connor suffered disappointment in his latest game with Walsall suffering a shock 2-1 defeat to Torquay United.
Northampton is a relative hotbed of former Valiants. Joining defender Lee Collins are former striker Marc Richards and winger Kaid Mohamed, who is on loan from the Vale. All three started a friendly against Sheffield United on Wednesday with Richards scoring from the penalty spot in a 1-1 draw.
Another former Valiants winger, Sean Rigg, has moved to AFC Wimbledon and his performance in a friendly clash with Chelsea earned rave reviews. Dons boss Neal Ardley told the press that: “Sean was exceptional.”
Vale will be playing Southport in a friendly later this month and it’s another club with a healthy Vale connection. Manager Martin Foyle joined in May and went back to former club Hereford United to bring in goalkeeper Daniel Lloyd-Weston, a former Vale youth teamer. Foyle has also linked up with Vale legend Andy Porter who is Foyle’s assistant at the club. In their last match, Port managed an impressive 0-0 draw with a Manchester United XI.
Meanwhile, Gavin Tomlin‘s bad luck with injuries is continuing. The forward’s one season at Vale was disrupted by them and his pre-season at Crawley has been similarly affected. Tomlin did manage half an hour against Brighton on Wednesday, though.
Ashley Vincent appears to have impressed his new club Shrewsbury Town. Vincent hit the post as the Shrews earned a creditable 2-2 draw with Championship side Watford.
Billy Paynter has had a bit of a stop-start beginning to his career at Carlisle. He’s yet to score but came mightily close only for Vito Mannone to make a “fine save” as Sunderland beat the Cumbrians 1-0.
Chesterfield have often been viewed as one of League Two’s bigger spending teams but apparently that won’t be the case for their return to League One as the club are operating with a reduced budget. How that will affect the Spireites’ contingent of former Valiants is unknown. The club have regular first-teamers Jay O’Shea, Dan Jones and Sam Morsy and they have been joined by Charlie Raglan from FC United (and previously Port Vale’s junior ranks). It’s worrying times for Chesterfield as the club have a squad of just 20 players and three are currently injured.
Meanwhile, journeyman Ryan Burge continues to search for a new club. Burge left Newport County at the end of the season and was linked with a move to South African side Bidwest Vits. But reports from South Africa claim that the move will now not take place.