Vale played out a 1-1 draw with Chester on Saturday in the final pre-season game on the road before the competitive football gets under way.
Michael Brown gave a number of players the full 90 minutes and new signing Gavin Gunning also featured for the entire match.
Reflecting on the performance, the manager was pleased with certain aspects, but he knew that the National League side would provide stiff opposition.
He said: "It was a tough game and we knew it would be when we set the fixture up at the end of last season.
"We were expecting a physical test, a real test and we got that. The match was a good workout for the boys and it was a strong, physical game."
After allowing more players to add important minutes to their legs, Brown is pleased with the fitness levels of his squad. However, an injury to Cristian Montano did put a dampener on things.
"We've got a problem with Monty (Montano) and obviously Tyrone as well so we will have to see how those boys are, said Brown.
He added: "However, it was good to get 45 minutes into Rob Lainton's legs. He had a thigh injury so it was nice to see him on the grass again.
"Overall, it's looking good, but we will have to see how Monty is - that's the disappointing one from today."
Brown's latest recruit Gavin Gunning also played against Chester in a left-back role and he performed well. Speaking about the arrival of the experienced defender, Brown said:
"Gavin is an experienced boy now. He's left footed and can play left side of centre-half or at left-back so it's perfect cover for us."