Grew gives the latest update from Ireland
Assistant manager Mark Grew believes the hard work in Ireland will pay off come August 3 as the Vale squad continued their pre-season preparation with a 6-0 victory over Athlone Town.
A Tom Pope hat-trick and goals from Ben Williamson, Gavin Tomlin and Lee Hughes gave the Valiants a comfortable victory, making it 19 goals in total during pre-season and three clean-sheets.
“Athlone were a step up again from last week and they played their strongest 11 in the first-half and we had to work hard against their diamond formation,” he explained.
Grew said: “Hughes scored early and the game went really well, we were able to bring on some of the development squad in the second-half and we took control of the match.
“It was a pleasing performance but we go again on Saturday against Bray and we know that will be a step up again as they play in a league higher than Athlone.”
All four of the Vale strikers found the net against Athlone and Grew is happy with the goals being shared around the team going into the new season.
“We’ve scored a lot of goals so far and it’s good that the goals have been shared around.
“Gavin has scored a few and hopefully he can carry that into the new season, similar to how Pope did last season, it’s great for their confidence.”
One major plus from pre-season has been the condition of the players, with all players coming through the three games uninjured, although the sweltering conditions did affect one player a day earlier.
“The pleasing thing is that we haven’t suffered any injuries and the players have been training hard so it’s going well.
“Hughes didn’t put the right factor sun cream on when we were training and he felt a bit dizzy but he was well enough to train and then to play yesterday evening, he’s fine now.”
Grew admits he and manager Micky Adams have been training the players hard, with the squad training the morning of the Athlone game and then again today.
“The training has been tough, we trained yesterday morning so the players would be going into the Athlone match with stiff legs, they all came through that well and we trained again this morning.”
The week in Ireland has given new signings Chris Lines, Kaid Mohamed, Chris Robertson and Gavin Tomlin the chance to bond with their new team-mates and Grew believes the new boys are settling in well.
“The boys are bonding really well, we came here last year and it had a really good affect on the side and we gelled as a team.
“The complex is fantastic as is the weather, it’s important that everyone gets to know each other and this trip has been huge for that,” Grew explained.
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