Port Vale - A Fans View
We look ahead to our weekend opponents Port Vale and get the opinion of Vale fan Stu who gives us his view on their pre season, last seasons achievements, looks ahead to the new campaign and gives us his match prediction for Saturday.
After a close season of some considerable uncertainty surrounding the futures of Micky Adams and several key players, pre-season began with comfortable friendly victories over traditional opponents Newcastle Town, Alsager Town and Norton United. Vale completed a brief tour of the South coast winning two and drawing one. The low point of an otherwise positive pre-season programme was a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Conference side Southport, managed by former Vale striker Martin Foyle. Pre-season ended well with a 3-2 win over Premiership West Brom in an even match between the two teams.
All that's left is for Adams to appoint a club captain following the departure of Doug Loft to Gillingham, and decide which of the new signings in defence and midfield make it in to his best eleven. Fans are looking forward to the prospect of new signings Marshall and Byron Moore on the wings. Midfielders O'Connor and Jennings have looked steady and settled in well in pre-season, and together with Michael Brown, one or perhaps two will likely partner Chris Lines in the middle of the pitch. It could be a make-or-break season for Ben Williamson as he looks finally to fulfil has outstanding potential as a forward and help share the goalscoring burden with goal machine Tom Pope.
Finishing ninth in our first season back in League One represented a good season last time out; it'll be up to the players to build on last season's successes and improve the away form to help achieve a play-off finish.
Having done the double over local rivals Walsall last season, Vale fans will be looking for a repeat dose to get the new season off to a flier.
Match prediction: Port Vale 3-1 Walsall
By Stuart Rickers