In this series we look back at players who only made a solitary appearance for the Valiants. This week we look at midfielder Nathan Ferguson
Nathan Ferguson in numbers…
A midfielder who later found his feet elsewhere…
The signing of Nathan Ferguson always seemed a bit of an oddity at the time. It came in July 2016. Ferguson was the thirteenth new addition for Vale manager Bruno Ribeiro and one of just three English signings for the Portuguese boss.
Ferguson had been on the books of Burton Albion without making a first-team experience although he had made appearances for four non-league sides.
It was clearly going to be a daunting task for a 21 year-old with no League experience to force his way into a central midfield packed with experienced League One campaigners such as Anthony Grant, Sam Foley and Michael Brown plus Ribeiro’s crop of Continental additions such as Paolo Tavares, Sebastien Amoros, Anthony Defreitas and Quentin Pereira. It meant that Ferguson was effectively eighth choice in central midfield.
It was therefore no surprise that Ferguson found first-team opportunities extremely limited and it wasn’t until the end of August that he got some first team minutes. Ferguson came on for Sam Hart in the 40th minute of an inauspicious Football League Trophy game against Derby County B. It would be his only first-team appearance for the Valiants.
Ribeiro was replaced by Michael Brown in the new year and the new manager didn’t fancy Ferguson as the pair agreed to end Ferguson’s contract by mutual consent in January 2017.
Initially, it looked like Brown’s judgement was sound as Ferguson went back into non-league football. However, a fine spell at Dulwich Hamlet between 2017 and 2019, Ferguson was handed a second chance of League football. He grabbed it with both hands as he scored six times in 36 games for Crawley Town. After two years at Crawley, he joined Southend United where he scored twice in nineteen games.More Port Vale one hit wonders