League One Season Preview 2006/07 - Port Vale

 


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Port Vale

Odds: 40/1

Last Five Seasons
2005/06 - 13 (League One), 2004/05 - 18 (League One), 2003/04 - 7 (League One), 2002/03 - 17 (League One), 2001/02 - 14 (League One).

2005/06 Cup Progress
FA Cup Fourth Round vs Aston Villa (a) - lost 3-1.
Carling Cup First Round vs Rotherham United (a) - lost 3-1.
Football League Trophy Northern Section Second Round vs Hereford United (a) - lost 2-1 after extra time.

Top Goal Scorer 2005/06: Leon Constantine (striker) - 12 goals.

Players In
Jason Talbot (Mansfield Town - Free), Richard Walker (Crewe Alexandra - Free), Colin Miles (Yeovil Town - Free), Dan Whitaker (Macclesfield Town - Free), Akpo Sodje (Darlington - Free)

Players Out
Micky Cummins (Darlington - Free), Hector Same (Walsall - Free), Jonny Brain (Macclesfield Town - Free).

After a shaky 2004/05 campaign, manager and Port Vale stalwart Martin Foyle defied the odds and made the Valiants a solid mid table team last season. He has been active in the transfer market to maintain the club’s status at this level and maybe even push them a little higher up the table.

Foyle has signed defender Colin Miles on a free transfer from Yeovil Town and snapped up Crewe Alexandra’s Richard Walker on similar terms. Jason Talbot, who spent time on loan at Vale Park last season, has signed on a permanent transfer from Mansfield Town.

Macclesfield midfielder Danny Whitaker, who wanted the chance to play in a higher division, joined the club in a deal which saw goalkeeper Jonny Brain move in the opposite direction to link up with ex manager Brian Horton.

Several members of the squad have pledged their futures to the Stoke-on-Trent club including former Bolton Wanderers winger Jeff Smith, who has signed a new one year deal after stalling over the initial offer. New captain George Pilkington and former Northern Ireland international midfielder Danny Sonner have also put pen to paper this summer.

Manager Foyle has insisted there is no truth in speculation surrounding Chris Birchall, the club’s glamour player, that he is set to depart the club. The 22 year old midfielder represented Trinidad & Tobago in the World Cup and played in all of the group matches against Sweden, England and Paraguay. The player has made 78 appearances for the club since making his debut in 2001 and has been linked Championship club Ipswich Town.

Verdict
Foyle will be pleased with another high mid table finish but the loss of Micky Cummins, who netted 11 goals from midfield last season, is a blow. New signing Whittaker needs to perform at League One level straight away while keeping hold of Birchall will also be a priority.

David Walker runs a Coral free bet and football betting systems websites. A free email course: “Seven Days to Better Betting" is available at both of these websites.

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