Port Vale assistant manager Paul Bodin has enjoyed his first season at the Club so far but insists the campaign isn’t over just yet.
He’s been part of a set-up that has broken a long-standing record for consecutive unbeaten home league games and came within a whisker of the League One play-off places.
Speaking to the press on Monday afternoon, Bodin discussed how he feels his first season at Vale Park has gone as of yet.
“I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said. “The last couple of weeks have been a bit disappointing in terms of results although performances haven’t been too bad up until the second half of Saturday.
“We’re always striving, asking ourselves questions, having meetings and chats and seeing how we could do things better or seeing if there’s more we could do to help the players.
“But of course once the referee blows the whistle on Saturday it is over to the players and they’ve got to implement the things we try and teach them on a daily basis.”
Despite taking just one point from the last nine on offer, Bodin has made it clear there are still plenty of reasons for the players to ensure their effort and performance levels don’t drop.
“There’s so much to play for,” he added. “You often read that players haven’t got anything to play for and you’re scratching your head at that because there’s so much to play for.
“We want to finish as high as we possibly can. The players should want to perform week-in, week out to the best of their ability for whether they’re here or somewhere else.
“If we’ve got players in our minds that we’re fifty-fifty about or we’re not quite sure what we’re going to do for next season then they need to show us that they want to stick to the end and fight as hard as they can.
“Other clubs will be looking, we’ve had a pretty successful season. Players who have done well and have been consistent here I’m sure other clubs have noted that as well.
“There’s many things to play for: there’s careers, staying in the game, young players who want to continue developing their career.”
With just five games left in the season, the backroom staff have already started looking at potential summer signings.
While Bodin says nothing is imminent, he confirmed there are players on Club’s radar.
“We’re slowly putting things into place and there’s lots of work going on behind the scenes in terms of looking at players for next season,” he continued.
“But until the end of June really, for all the work that you do you don’t actually sign the players until that late.
“There’s a lot of contacts with people that you know, you’re going through the process of looking at players, speaking to players and getting character references and so on.
“So there’s so much work being done but the players really don’t come to fruition until the middle to the end of June.”
Alongside his role at Vale Park, Bodin is also a coach of the Welsh national side’s under-21s.
Over the Easter weekend he went away with the squad for some UEFA Championship qualifiers against Bulgaria and Romania.
“It’s something that I did previous to coming here and it’s something I really enjoy,” he commented.
“You’re away with elite, young players who are keen to do well and of course since I’ve been at Port Vale you come across Welsh players and you can keep an eye on the up and coming talent.
“Allied to that the senior team have done fantastically well so there’s a carrot for all the young players to go on and express themselves and ultimately play in the senior team.”