Captain Carl Dickinson has added his voice to that of striker Tom Pope in hoping that Vale won’t leave contract discussions too late.
Michael O’Connor is one of the key players who will be free to talk to other clubs in the summer and Dickinson told the media: “If it was me I think I would be trying to get him signed up sooner rather than later.”
If it was me I think I would be trying to get him signed up sooner rather than later…
Vale did originally plan to tie key performers such as Mark Marshall and O’Connor to new deals in the New Year but owner Norman Smurthwaite changed his mind after a series of poor performances.
Earlier this month, striker Tom Pope also urged the club to sort out deals earlier telling the press: “It’s difficult when you’ve got players like Mark Marshall and Michael O’Connor out of contract. You run the risk of them leaving for nothing at the end of the season.”
This is an argument that you can see both sides of. The club does not want to overstretch itself financially but it also doesn’t want to lose key players.
However, I have always argued that the club should talk to key players before the end of their contracts otherwise agents and other clubs can turn their heads.
My view is that tying key players down early on will stop transfer rumours, boosts season ticket sales and allows continuity – so that the manager can build around those three or four key players.
It doesn’t mean that every player should get an early contract deal – just the core of the side – of which Mark Marshall and Michael O’Connor are two of them.
Rob Fielding – OVF Founder