The main reason s for the Vale team not performing to the levels of last season are the newly introduced rule limiting squad size to 21 and the compression of the season leading to more mid-week fixtures. Once the heavy pitches came then the older players i.e. Joyce, Legge and Pope couldn’t sustain their standard of performance. This was exacerbated by having several players whose injury records are suspect i.e. Montano, Cullen and Amoo. I hope and pray that Gibbons is not going to fall into this category.
Next season the squad cap falls to 20 and Hurst, who was classed as Under 21 this season, will count as an Over 21 player. Because of this we must recruit players who are capable of playing mid week games over a sustained period without injury or performance dropping off.
Contracted Renew/New Release
1 Smith 10 Brown Legge?
2 Gibbons 11 Crookes? Fitzpatrick
3 Conlon 12 Oyeleke? Brisley
4 Taylor 13 McKirdy? Montano
5 Burgess 14 Hurst? Visser
6 Worrall 15 Right Back Cullen
7 Amoo 16 Left Back Trickett-Smith
8 Rodney 17 Central Defender Guthrie
9 Robinson 18 Defensive Midfielder Mills
Whitehead 19 Defensive Midfielder Campbell-Gordon
20 Centre Forward Pope & Joyce
This leaves 6 spaces for DC to fill before hitting the squad limit of 20.
Whitehead contract terminated by mutual agreement.
Oyeleke only offered 6 month contract if completes this season without further injury.
Scott, who will still be classed as under 21 next season, to provide cover for Brown without taking up a squad place.
Recruit 10 under 21 outfield players from the pool of players released from Premiership/Championship sides to make up the Academy e.g. Swan and Olagunju will both still be classed as Under 21 for the 21/22 season. Under 21s to play regular fixtures together with squad players who are not getting regular games.
Amoo only included because he is under contract.
? indicates players who are vulnerable to being released if DC feels there are players available who represent better value for money or who would give the squad a better balance.
The 3 new defenders must be adaptable across the back.