After guiding Port Vale to safety in Sky Bet League Two during the 2018/19 campaign, John Askey is excited to see what the future holds now he has signed a three-year contract extension which will see him continue in his role as manager until 2022.
He and Dave Kevan initially joined the Valiants in February 2019 following the departure of Neil Aspin, and they made their mark on things to improve performances and secure the club's Football League status by a margin of eight points.
Now with a full summer ahead of him, Askey is eager to put solid foundations in place prior to the 2019/20 campaign getting underway in August, and he acknowledges just how important recruitment will be over the coming months as Vale look to push on.
He said: “I’m really pleased to extend my stay here. To get the job initially was great for me and things have gone reasonably well.
“When I came in I reiterated that the most important thing is that the club does well. If we’d have gone down with me in charge, I’m not sure I could’ve lived with myself.
“Now being able to start fresh before the season, I want to do well for myself, but most importantly I want success for the football club.
“The players that we’ve got remaining have been good for Port Vale and I’m sure they’ll perform next season, but recruitment is massive now and hopefully we can get the players in that we want.
“The summer is the busiest and most important time as a manager, but hopefully we can acquire the right characters who want to play for Port Vale.
“I’ve been speaking to lots of players and hopefully a couple will come in today, but it’s ongoing now and we need to get the timing correct - it’s about holding your nerve.”
with over 1,000 supporters already signing up to be a part of the new era at Vale Park with the purchase of their season tickets, Askey is determined to build on the feel-good factor around the club, but he also wants people to be patient during the rebuilding period.
Following the last few years of instability, the manager and the rest of the staff want the club to form an upward trajectory so that it can move forward and progress. Despite knowing the size of the task at hand, Askey is keen to make things work during his tenure in the dugout.
He said: “Season ticket sales have rocketed since Carol and Kevin bought the club, and hopefully that can continue because it’s really important that everybody gets behind the football club now.
“There are no excuses to hide behind and the more sales that we have, the better we can do on the pitch.
“Supporters will have to be patient with me and the owners because it’s going to be a long-term plan. It would be great if things happen overnight and we start well so that things can snowball.
“If it doesn’t, we’ll continue working hard and eventually things will go right. It’s all about the first game of the season and getting things in place before that now.”
On signing a new deal alongside Askey, Dave Kevan added: “I’m delighted to sit here and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve enjoyed the time that I’ve been here already, so it’s exciting to be a part of this as we look to push the club forward.
“We just want to make the training intense so that players work hard every day and improve as footballers, so it’s very important that we get the work into them as early as possible.”