Chief executive’s update on Port Vale’s seven out-of-contract players



Port Vale look set to sign Tom Conlon and Rhys Browne on new contracts following positive talks this week.

Mark Cullen, Cristian Montano and Shaun Brisley have also indicated they will sign – and the club hasn’t ruled out deals with David Amoo and Nathan Smith.

They were the seven players offered deals by Vale when the club issued its retained list in May.

They are due to give Vale an answer on Tuesday – a month after the offers were tabled.

EFL rules say retained list offers are valid for a month. That doesn’t mean players will definitely leave if deals aren’t agreed by Tuesday, but it would be up to the individual clubs and players if they want to continue talks.

Vale’s chief executive Colin Garlick provided an update, saying: “We’ve had conversations with the representatives of Tom Conlon and Rhys Browne and they have indicated that they are also looking to re-join.

“There are also discussions with David Amoo so things are looking quite positive on that front.”

Vale are keen to keep the majority of the squad together having been pushing hard for the play-off places when the regular season was suspended on March 13 and subsequently abandoned after a vote of League Two clubs last week.

Midfielder Luke Joyce has already signed for another 12 months having triggered his contract offer through an appearance clause. The 32 year old only missed one of Vale’s 37 league games this past season and there is no doubt Vale would have offered him a deal even if he hadn’t automatically earned  one. 

Conlon emerged as an important player as the season went on, stepping up for Vale when they lost Jake Taylor with a knee injury in January.

The 24 year old, from Porthill, likes to get on the ball and dictate play but modified his game to play a more attacking role in John Askey’s three-man midfield.

Conlon, who has been with the club for two seasons, brought up his 50th league start in the final game – the goalless draw at Cheltenham.

Should he re-sign then he will continue a connection with the Vale because his great-grandfather, keeper George Heppell, played for the club, as did his great-great grandfather, midfielder Albert Pearson.

Winger Browne, who signed on a free last summer, had to be patient for his chance because of the form of David Amoo and Dave Worrall in the wide positions in Askey’s 4-3-3 system.

But the 24 year old impressed his manager over his ten starts and five substitute appearances, fitting into the high-pressing style favoured by the manager. That was evident when he won the ball high up the pitch and fed Conlon to open the scoring in the 3-0 win at home to Colchester in February, a result that fuelled Vale’s belief they were on their way to the play-offs.

They would finish just one point short but are keen to build on a hugely promising season whenever the 2020/21 campaign can begin. 





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