Players have been put through the mill this summerVale Assistant Manager Mark Grew admits this pre-season has been the most difficult since Micky Adams came to the club, but knows the players will reap the benefit.
Grew said: Since Micky has been here there has never been an easy pre-season, but I think this one probably tops the lot.
“We had a really tough session over in Ireland to finish off and even this week it is classed as pre-season, yesterday we finished off with a running session.
“The lads are raring to go but I think everyone gets a bit bored with pre-season, I know the gaffer does and he can’t wait for Saturday.
“I don’t think the lads will be any fitter than they were last year – you can only get to a certain level – but even on Saturday they won’t be one hundred per cent.
“The first twenty minutes against Brentford will be more than anything they have had in pre-season.
“Friendlies are played at a certain pace and we know that on Saturday that pace will be electric for the first twenty minutes and there will be some blowing, but we have got them as fit as we possibly can.
Vale will obviously be going all out for a win, though they will not be underestimating Brentford, who were a little unfortunate not to miss out on promotion last season, falling at the final hurdle, going out in the play-offs.
Grew said “I think it is important to get that first win under your belt, that is the main aim in this division, to get the first win and three points on the board, and that breeds confidence.
“If you win it breeds confidence and if you lose you start getting a bit tense, but Brentford will be coming here exactly the same, looking to get three points on the board.
“They will be disappointed following the play-offs last season but they have got to get that disappointment out of their system.
“They were a good side last year, they are a good strong side and I think they will be there or thereabouts this season, so it couldn’t have been a tougher test for us for the first game of the season.”