After his first pre-season session as first team manager, Michael Brown was happy with the levels of fitness from the players as friendly fixtures get under way next weekend.
The squad were put to the test throughout the course of the day, but the boss had no complaints from the efforts of the boys as they prepare for the 2017/18 campaign.
He said: "They look ok. There are a few who struggled, but we have given them more than they were perhaps used to on the first day.
"I have no doubt that they have gone away thinking 'this is where it's heading', so tomorrow we will have another tough day. We may give them a weekend off if they work hard, but this continues daily over the next few weeks."
A new captain will be donning the armband this season following Ben Purkiss' move to Swindon Town, but Brown will take his time to decide who takes the honour as he watches progress during pre-season.
With seven signings already having been unveiled at Vale Park, the manager and his staff are still looking to do business if they feel it will bolster the chance of success.
He said: "We are looking to improve the squad first and foremost. Every day the boys are out there and I get an update as soon as they come off the training ground.
"We are always trying to get better but it's not as simple as some people think. It all depends on who is available, what they would cost and where our budget allows us to stretch."
Brown revealed he is continuing to talk to Chris Eagles and Ryan Taylor, both whom are now out of contract. Despite the manager wanting to keep hold of the pair, he knows there is interest from elsewhere.
He said: "It's not rocket science, the boys want to try and push for the Scottish Premier League, the Championship or League One. That's where they are from, they want to play at as high a level as they can.
"We have got to accept that if they can get them opportunities, we can't compete with that. If that doesn't happen then we will be there and that is all we can do as a club."