Rob Fielding is impressed with the club’s first transfer business of the summer.
Rob Fielding writes…
Here’s some previous first signings from two summers past:
- In 2016, having lost the likes of Chris Lines, Michael O’Connor and Chris Neal, Vale signed Chris Mbamba, Carlos Saleiro and Quentin Pereira. It was clearly a club taking gambles in replacing proven League One talent with unknowns. The gamble failed.
- In 2018, the club added the likes of Callum Evans, Connell Rawlinson and Kieran Kennedy to their ranks. It looked like a club doing things on the cheap. It almost certainly was and it didn’t work.
Thanks to the club’s reworked backroom and meticulous stats-based research, there will be few gambles. Thanks to the backing of owners Carol and Kevin Shanahan, there will be no cost-cutting…
Neither of those circumstances will prevail in 2022. Thanks to the club’s reworked backroom and meticulous stats-based research, there will be few gambles. Thanks to the backing of owners Carol and Kevin Shanahan, there will be no cost-cutting.
This summer’s first signing – Lewis Cass – shows a club with ambition and a plan. A deal for a 22 year-old, who turned down a deal with a Premier League side to join, is eye catching. Several other parts of the club statement draw the eye too. How about this “there was a number of clubs in for his signature and it’s testament to the atmosphere around the club that has been built by the manager and the staff that Lewis chose to continue his career with us.”
What makes it even more assuring for Vale fans is that this signing is part of the “process” – with the club carefully researching who they bring in. As Director of Football David Flitcroft told the Sentinel newspaper, today’s Vale recruitment team is miles away from those of the past. There are presentations to top-flight clubs on how they will look after loanees, there’s the unstinting support from the board if the right player is found and recruiting “as part of a unit” rather than as individuals. Vale is now a completely different club than the last couple of decades.
Alongside getting the footballing decisions right, the club are getting the moral and human decisions right too. Each player is treated in the right way, they are welcomed and it shows that those leaving do so with glowing reviews of the club. All that positive feedback can only help in attracting players looking for a new club. After all, would you rather go to a club where you are treated well than not?
The characters the club have recruited show through too. We had loanees Kian Harratt and Ryan Edmondson, young lads with no connection to the club or area, giving absolutely everything to the cause. We had the aforementioned Cass, doing scouting work and sitting in the away end and we have injured club captain Tom Conlon (the best skipper the club have had for years) doing all he can to help from the sidelines – whether that’s sitting on the sidelines or helping out with a Golden Valiants night. If you bring good people in – then they will do good things, seems to be the mantra.
It all adds up to fans being able to say with confidence that a bright future awaits Port Vale. It may very well be too much to expect them to challenge in their first season in League One but this is a long-term strategy and more signings of the calibre of Cass, things will be looking very bright on the pitch.WHAT DO YOU THINK? – CLICK HERE TO POST A COMMENT