If you're looking for a player to set the bar for experience and professionalism at a football club, than Danny Pugh is your man.
The 35 year old has played at the highest level in English football with Manchester United in the Premier League, and has since built up his wealth of experience throughout the years having played in every single league in English football. With 358 career appearances to his name, it's safe to say that Pughey has been through the all the highs and lows as a professional footballer.
Pugh signed for the Vale in back in January 2017 has since gone on to make over 40 appearances. After Neil Aspin's arrival last year, he praised Pughey for his professionalism and the example he sets for not just the younger players coming through the ranks, but other first team players.
The start of this season however has been a slightly different one for Danny. Yet to make an appearance so far, Pughey has kept himself busy off the field by focusing on his coaching badges. In his pursuit to one day become a manager, a role at Vale has presented him with the opportunity to help him make that next step in his career.
The midfielder has been working alongside Academy Coaches Mick and Paul Ede as he looks to gain more experience in the managerial field, and says he is really enjoying the new role.
“It’s been different, I’ve obviously not played how I wanted to in the games but I’m dipping my toes on the coaching side of things. I do a bit of work with the academy in the week and I was at Morecambe on Tuesday so it’s a bit different but I'm enjoying both sides of it.
“Mick and Paul let me get involved so it’s been good to get a bit of experience for myself learning off them, but also with anything I can pass onto the younger lads I’m happy to do that.
“You start looking at things, how the games played and looking at players in different ways. It’s a completely different way of watching football, you try and watch it with more detail and more depth. I’m learning all the time, I still want to play and be involved on that side of things but I’m enjoying this little bit as well.”
As he stood alongside Mick Ede during the reserves 2-1 win over Morecambe on Tuesday, Pughey was not shy not pass on his instructions and advice throughout the game.
What perhaps goes unnoticed with Danny Pugh is the advice and experience he can offer to the younger players coming through. Joe Berks and Jack Wakefield featured in the middle of the park for Vale on Tuesday, and received plenty of advice from the decorated midfielder on the touchline.
Reserves Coach Mick Ede feels the younger player can benefit magnificently from Danny Pugh on the touchline.
“It’s a new thing for Danny. He’s going to be coming in and assisting me with the reserves, he’s just starting to go through his coaching badges. He’s working with my brother Paul, the under 16s, so he’s finding his feet in the coaching circles.
“He’d admit himself he finds it difficult analysing the game from the side of the pitch where he’s usually in amongst it but that’ll come with experience.
"Obviously he’s own experience from playing when he talks to the players he can see things from especially players playing in his position. When you’ve got three youth players playing in the middle of the park he can talk to them and give them little snippets and they’ll take that every day.
“Pughey has played at the highest level, any bits of information he can give the lads they have to take that on board, and they’ve got to use it to the best of their ability.