Columnist Malcolm Hirst thinks two Vale players have done enough to earn early contract extensions.
Malcolm Hirst writes…
It was good to see Vale end up with a morale-boosting home win against Northampton Town on Saturday. It was just what we needed ahead of a tough game at Crewe this Saturday. I’ve been fortunate to watch seven of our eight league games this season and, based on those performances, Vale look capable of making good progress from last season’s flirtation with relegation to the National League. At the beginning of the season I said I would take mid-table and I still am of the same mind. After three eventful and somewhat chaotic seasons we need stability. Stability in the managerial position, stability in the playing squad.
To aid this stability we should seek to extend the contracts of two of our newer players whose deals are up at the end of the season, namely Luke Hannant and Manny Oyeleke…
To aid this stability we should seek to extend the contracts of two of our newer players whose deals are up at the end of the season, namely Luke Hannant and Manny Oyeleke. Luke is relatively well known to us after joining last January. He has adapted well to the Football League and has improved month on month since joining us. Manny has been a revelation and his injured-enforced absence has been evident in our poorer midfield performances.
I believe we should extend their contracts at this early stage for three reasons. Firstly, the performances of both players merit it. Some might think it’s too early for Manny, but if we don’t take action well before January we run the risk of missing out for next season.
Secondly, it makes good business sense. We are a selling club and we should be protecting the assets we have. I can see both players going on to play at a higher level. Hopefully, that might be with us, for a while at least. If not with Vale, then we should, as a minimum, be looking to profit from the opportunity the club has given to both players.
Thirdly, it should inspire the other players to want to reach their potential too. It could prove to be a boost to the likes of Ricky Miller, Tom Conlon and Connell Rawlinson to be consistent, to prove themselves and then to earn extensions to their own contracts.
Let’s hope we can continue to move forward as club, building a squad that can grow and develop, and giving us some success along the way.
This column represents the columnist’s personal views and not necessarily those of the Port Vale Supporters Club.