Tom Conlon on brink of matching Port Vale goal-hero


It would be asking a bit much for him to score a goal like he managed at Barrow this week but Tom Conlon is just one away from being the first Port Vale midfielder in 15 years to reach double figures.

The 25-year-old took his total for the season to nine with his double in Tuesday’s 2-0 win, including that 45-yard volley for the opener.

Thanks to club historian Phil Sherwin for revealing the last midfielder to manage ten in the league was Micky Cummins in the 2005/06 campaign.

As Phil points out, ‘midfield’ can be hard to define. The supremely versatile Cummins also played wide and at full back, but seems to fit the midfield category better than Sean Rigg who got 10 in 2011/12 but is considered more of a wide forward.



Michael Cummins celebrates scoring the winner at home to Wrexham in April 2004

The Barrow goal was so good that manager Darrell Clarke temporarily lifted his ban on players talking to the media.

So, over to Conlon, although he’s enjoyed a terrific campaign whether or not he manages to score another over the final three games.

He said: “It sat up lovely for me and the moment I hit it, I knew it had a good chance…and it was lovely to see it go in.

He added: “I have always said I want to get to double figures. I am one off now with three games to go and it would be brilliant if I could do that.”

Conlon was signed by Neil Aspin after impressing on trial and has flourished under John Askey and now Clarke who made confirming the midfielder as captain one of his first decisions after taking the job in February.

The midfielder, who is under contract for another season, is enjoying being part of a side that has won seven of the last eight to pull well clear of relegation trouble.

He said: “When we are doing well there is nothing better, and vice versa when we are not, it’s really tough. But I am so pleased we have all stayed together as a group, we have turned it around and long may that continue.

“Even when we weren’t winning games, the gaffer said, ‘stay with it, keep positive and keep your mindset solid. He is massive on that mindset.

“When we were losing games I don’t think we were a million miles off it. We just needed a little bit of luck, a little bit more quality and things would change – which they have.”

Conlon will be passing on the remarkable technique he showed for his Barrow goal in a new academy he has formed with team-mate Nathan Smith. Based, in Madeley, the academy is for 8-14 year olds.

Conlon added: “It has been in the pipeline for a while. We have always said we want to get something going. We are both local lads, I joined an academy when I was really young and Nathan got into one a little later so maybe if he’d got in earlier it would have been a really good thing. We want to give that opportunity.

“Nathan’s from Madeley, I was born in Porthill and we are doing it in Madeley so we are giving something back. Hopefully it is a success, we are really looking forward to it.”

For further details, contact prolevelacademy@outlook.com or call 07518431839





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