Is the much maligned Checkatrade Trophy helping Neil Aspin’s side this season?
This website has made its opposition to the introduction of B sides to the Checkatrade Trophy very clear. But let’s be certain – prior to that we welcomed the Football League Trophy (as it was then called) as a chance for lower league fans to reach a major cup final.
There’s no getting away from the fact that the introduction of the B sides has tainted the competition but despite its many flaws, it could be argued that the Checkatrade is benefiting Vale in several ways
Player and squad competition
Theo Vassell’s performance in an earlier Trophy clash propelled him into the first-team for League games. Sam Hornby has benefited from Trophy games and ensures that should anything happen to Scott Brown there is a reliable deputy. Youngster Nelson Agho was given a chance to impress. The likes of Idris Kanu, Lewis Hardcastle and James Gibbons have all used Checktrade time to push their claims. These factors are perhaps as much down to the Vale management and careful chopping and changing of personnel for these games, but it does mean fringe players can push established ones for places.
Money in the bank
With £10,000 per win, Vale’s three victories so far have banked a more than useful £30,000. OK, it may not do much more than compensate for the money lost by the appalling attendance figures but the longer the Vale progress the more they can earn. Talking of which…
A chance of a visit to Wembley
With a 100% record so far and a home game to come in the next round, Vale are in with a reasonable chance of progressing far in this year’s competition. A visit to Wembley for the final would give a boost to club coffers, give fans a memorable day out and offer a chance of another trophy to boot.