Experienced Vale midfielder, Luke Joyce, gave his thoughts on pre-season and the opening game against Colchester United, whilst also discussing his new “coaching” academy for grassroots players.
Joyce expressed how happy he was with the away point picked up against Colchester to start the season, noting how good their attacking performance was for the first period of the game, and then defensively in the second-half.
He believed a key reason for how well they played, was the hard work they had put in during pre-season, where they focused on fitness as well as developing a style of possession football they aim to play.
The midfield three, made up of himself, Tom Conlon and Manny Oyeleke played an important role in the system, and Joyce noted the how well they work together, with the side never losing when they have played alongside each other.
He said: “It’s [Pre-season] been tough, but at the same time, it’s not just been getting out there and running for half an hour as fast as you can or as far as you can, everything’s been thought through and done properly.
“Overall, it [Colchester game] was a solid performance, I think we showed, first 25 minutes, good football and good movement, second-half, a bit more defensive, a professional way to see out the game.
“It’s a good combination, we mix well, all got different strengths and can all offer different things.”
The midfielder hopes he can transfer his knowledge and experience from football onto the next generation, as he has set-up an under-11, grassroots, football training academy in his local area.
Joyce, who hosts training on Thursday evenings, hopes he can provide extra, high quality, training for the boys, from a professional player.
The aim for Joyce, is to give opportunities to players and try to develop their skills and help them find routes into professional football.
He said: “It’s offering them a higher standard of coaching than they’re getting at the minute at grassroots teams.
“[We’re] looking to getting them into clubs by coaching them and hopefully arranging games against professional teams and hopefully give them that exposure and that eye-opener to see where they need to get to.
“It’s just trying to help them and guide them and improve them, and they can realise their dreams and ambitions.”