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Neil Aspin on signing Louis Dodds and Ricky Miller

25 June 2018

With Vale's first pre-season friendly now less than two weeks away, Neil Aspin has had a busy summer drafting in new acquisitions to strengthen the Valiants' squad ready for the 2018/19 campaign.

The tally of new arrivals currently stands at eight, with Louis Dodds and Ricky Miller both agreeing to join the club last week, something which the manager was extremely pleased about.

Dodds is a familiar face around Burslem having spent eight years at Vale Park between 2008 and 2016, but with the forward now back at the club he calls 'home', Aspin is looking forward to seeing what he can do in Sky Bet League Two.

On securing the 31-year-old on a season-long loan, Aspin said: "Louis Dodds has been a name that people have mentioned ever since I came back here, and I did enquire about him when he was at Shrewsbury in January, but he went to Chesterfield and I had no problem with that.

"He wasn't somebody that I was immediately going to go back in for, but there were too many factors in his favour and when I weighed it up, there were a lot of reasons to bring him back here. 

"The player himself wanted to play for the club and that is the biggest factor. You speak to some players and they are not interested in who they play for, but with him I felt that he wanted to return for the right reasons.

"He knows that although he has been here before, he has got to come back with a point to prove because last season didn't go well for him. I was honest with him, but he has a clean start now and I'm not interested in what he has done in the past, it is about the opportunity now to do well."

Miller could link-up with Dodds in Vale's front line this season, and he will also be determined to make his mark on League Two after enduring a difficult spell at League One side, Peterborough United. 

Having taken the National League by storm with Dover and scoring over 40 goals with them during the 2016/17 season, Aspin will be hoping that the 29-year-old striker can rediscover that kind of form at Vale Park.

He said: "Ricky is a player I have known for several years, and I have always liked him and wanted to sign him because he is the type of player that is hungry to score goals.

"We have always had a link and connection with him and he knew that I would be interested in him if he became available, but I have to give the Chairman credit in this because we had the conversation and he got it done.

"I'm pleased that he did because you have to get goal scorers into the club and the one thing about Ricky is that he is an out-and-out goal scorer.

"He has had problems off the field and everyone knows that, but I have to manage that and get him back on track. If we get him focused and concentrating on his football, I am confident that he will do well and score goals."


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