Port Vale today announced that they have appointed former player and Gateshead Manager Neil Aspin as the successor to Michael Brown. Aspin made 410 appearances for the Valiants in a 10 year spell. He had a decent record at Gateshead, winning 39 of his 100 matches in charge and the appointment has been met with wide spread approval from the fans.
This positive response has been further increased by the confirmation that John Rudge will return as the Director of Football to help Aspin in what will be a momentous task. Vale are currently 3rd from bottom in the table, having not won a league fixture since the opening day victory over Crawley and are already 5 points behind Morecambe in 21st place. Rudge, 72, was in charge of Vale during their most successful period and was famous for being able to spot a good player and sign them for a price well below what he would usually sell them on for. He was in charge of Vale for an amazing 843 matches spanning 16 years!
The pair will be in charge for the first time on Saturday as the club take on Grimsby Town at Vale Park. It will be interesting to see if the club can get a bounce following the appointments. They should be able to get more out of a squad that most commentators believe is under-performing rather than lacking talent.
It could be, and I for one certainly hope it will be, the start of an exciting new era for the club. For me personally the club will always be Dean Glover and Martin Foyle, both players were signed during the Rudge era and went onto be club legends. If he can work well with Aspin, a player he also brought to the club from Leeds United in 1989, then expect to see this great club return from the brink. It will, I think, take time and of course football has changed to make it a lot hard to sign players from reserves sides from teams higher up the league ladder and sell them on for a decent profit. This is mainly due to the wage inflation that has taken place in football but they could use his contacts to raid the loan market come January.
In the short term the focus will be getting the most out of the current playing squad and getting more support up to the likes of Dan Turner and Tom Pope in order to find a way of getting goal shy Vale firing. The club will be expecting a big crowd on Saturday to welcome home their former heroes and let’s hope that it will garner some positive results and usher in a new era of stability and prosperity for those long suffering fans…
words James Richards
Just as a side thought here are some examples of the signings that Rudge made and turned a tidy profit on:
Steve Guppy £250,000 from Newcastle – Sold £850,000 to Leicester
Jon McCarthy £450,000 from York – Sold £1.5m to Birmingham
Gareth Ainsworth £500,000 from Lincoln – Sold £2m to Wimbledon
Robin Van der Laan – £80,000 from Wageningen – Sold £475,000 plus Lee Mills to Derby County
Lee Mills in the above deal sold to Bradford City for £1m
If you can think of any others please leave them in the below comments box