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Tom Pope: "You want to kick every ball."

1 August 2013

Striker wants to replicate goals this season

Striker Tom Pope admits he’s grown as a player since joining the club he supporters back in 2011 

The League Two Player of the Year had a fruitful season last year in front of goal with 31 goals in 43 league appearances and as we head into the 2013/14 season Pope is all geared up to help Vale achieve success in League 1.

Pope explained: “Not just in my play but in my running as well, when you sign for a club that you support you want to do everything and kick every ball, win every tackle and you end up chasing people that don’t need to be chased.

“You try and do everybody’s job and get yourself worked up and end up getting injured, that’s certainly what happened in the first year.”

With the weight of Burslem on his shoulders Pope is confident he can replicate last season’s goal tally in League 1.

“Last year there was no pressure on us, I tried to stay around the goal and try and put the ball in the back of the net and it came up trumps, hopefully I can do the same kind of thing this year,” he told Valiant Player.

With pre-season known for being notoriously tough under manager Micky Adams it has been made all the bit tougher with sky-high temperatures throughout July, so much so it has led to Pope shaving his hair clean off.

Pope joked: “It has been great, probably a bit too hot for my liking, that’s why I shaved my hair off.

“Everything has gone great my fitness levels couldn’t be better.

“The gaffer doesn’t allow you to cut any corners, I’ve scored a few goals, I can’t have any complaints in pre-season.”

League 1 will represent a new challenge for Pope and his team-mates and the striker is hopeful it will suit his style of play.

He said: “I’m hoping it will suit me a bit better, last year showed me that we can hold our own in the league.

“I think with my touch and my hold up play we can create a few chances and it’s going to work in our favour.

“I never set myself targets, not even last year, my aim was to stay in-between the sticks and try and be a lot more selfish.”

Watch the full interview on Valiant Player.

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