OVF 2017 review: our quotes of the year

In our series of features covering 2017 we look at what we consider to be the most memorable quotes of 2017

“In thinking outside the box last summer I have clearly seriously damaged our Club, resulting in Sunday’s relegation which was never my intention as the Club is now a very big part of my life. I deeply regret the actions and appointments I made during the closed season and would like to apologise sincerely to all supporters, Port Vale staff and the wider Burslem community for the impact of my decisions last summer.”

Owner Norman Smurthwaite’s statement after Vale are relegated at the end of the 2016/17 season

“We are looking to find a goalkeeper that is going to do the job for us. We have looked at all sorts of different goalkeepers. We just have to find the right one and we are still trying to do that…”

Michael Brown on the goalkeeping situation (in 2017 Vale used NINE different keepers)

“I felt it was our duty to support a player who had given so much service to the club…”

Owner Norman Smurthwaite on the contract offer to injured defender Adam Yates

“I think we will just sign another nine goalkeepers and pick the best one out of the nine and see what happens!”

Manager Neil Aspin on the club’s goalkeeping woes

“I look back and I had twenty years here. It was a fantastic part of my life and also my career, so when Neil and Norman asked whether I would come and just help to try to see whether they could start getting the club up and running a little bit, it was a no brainer for me…”

John Rudge on his return to the club

“We have a good chance of gaining promotion.”

Michael Brown before the start of the 2017/18 season

“I am yes, for sure.”

Michael Brown  on whether he will stay as manager after the draw with Forest Green. He was wrong, he was sacked before the next game…

“When I took over it was in a difficult situation in December last season. We sold Jak Anwick and Anthony Grant on deadline day, so arguably two of our best players. So it was a baptism of fire that I managed to go straight into. We had heavily probably reduced the budget  have a chairman in Norman Smurthwaite who doesn’t understand football. He actually says he doesn’t understand it and doesn’t want to be involved in it  I had a good relationship with him, on the whole…”

Michael Brown reflects on his time as manager

“The club is all about the supporters. The managers and players come and go but the supporters remain. So, it’s all about the supporters and we need to give them a team they are proud of and can identify with. It takes time to build that trust up but hopefully we can build that trust up.”

Neil Aspin

“To come in as a local lad and do well for your local team it means a lot. It’s my city and pride, my mates live here, my mum and dad live here so there’s nothing better than to see the club doing well and on a personal note, myself doing well. It couldn’t be any better for me at the minute.”

James Gibbons