Port Vale midfielder Luke Joyce has put pen to paper on a new 12 month contract.
The 32 year old had verbally agreed the deal but is now officially a Vale player until at least the summer of 2021.
That’s good news for the Vale after Joyce emerged as a key player this past season, having been in an out of the side in the 2018/19 campaign.
He made the holding role in front of the back four his own, starting 36 of the club’s 37 league games, missing just that one game through suspension, before the campaign was halted in mid-March.
Joyce qualified for the new deal because of an appearance clause in his previous contract, but there is no doubt the Vale would have offered him terms anyway because of his importance to the side.
Manager John Askey said: “Luke has done really well while I have been in. I think how we play has suited him. He is good with the other players. He has a lot of experience and I think he is enjoying his time again now.
“I am pleased to get him back because he was virtually ever present and week in, week out, you knew what you were going to get from Luke.”
Joyce’s role in Askey’s 4-3-3 system allowed team mates such as Jake Taylor, Scott Burgess and Tom Conlon to get forward from midfield.
Askey added: “Luke is one who is going to sit in, playing in front of the back four and pass the ball well. He reads the game well and that enables the other two midfield players to go and join in.
“His attitude and football ability have been a big part of why we did well last season.”
Chief executive Colin Garlick confirmed the midfielder’s deal is done.
He said: “We are delighted to have Luke sorted out. Had he not had the option I am absolutely sure we would have been making him an offer.
“The only game we lost at home was against Walsall – and he wasn’t playing.
“I am really pleased. I think having someone with his experience and ability in that side is good for us going forward. If we can start and kick off then we are going to have the nucleus of the squad we have kept together.”