Jake Taylor has highlighted how helpful and influential the experience in the Vale dressing room has been to developing his game.
The 21-year-old midfielder picked out Luke Joyce and Tom Pope, among others, who have been significant in helping to improve his footballing ability and welcome him into the squad.
Taylor said how being around players who have been in the game for a while has allowed him to learn a lot and add new elements to his performances.
A combination of injuries and faith from John Askey has seen Taylor thrown straight into senior football, and he again believes this has helped him to adapt his game and do exactly what he came to the club to do, play football.
He said: “They’re all great lads, they’ve all welcomed me in, playing with more experienced players is only something I can thrive off so I learn a lot.
“Coming into a first team environment has helped me a lot and hopefully I can learn off most of the players or all of the players.
“That’s what I came here for, I came here to play, obviously I know I’ve got to earn the shirt, hopefully the manager trusts me to play in many more games to come.”
Taylor has not had much time to try and adapt to senior football, having been part of the Nottingham Forest Under-23’s up until this season when he came to Vale Park on loan.
Having already started against Exeter, the young and versatile midfielder, who is happy to play in an attacking or defensive role, has already noticed the changes that come with the step up, such as having to be aware for the full 90 minutes or being caught out.
The increased physicality has also been picked up by Taylor, but he feels as though he has adapted to it well and is able to excel when opposition players try and make the game difficult for him.
With Mansfield up next, Taylor could again expect to gain more minutes as Manny Oyeleke, Tom Conlon and Callum Evans all remain doubtful, and Taylor is excited for the challenge and wants to again give back to the home supporters.
He said: “It’s [senior football] a lot quicker, you’ve got to be switched on for the full 90 minutes, you can’t switch off because against more experienced players they’ll’ pick you off, they’ll punish you .
“I thrive off it to be fair, it’s all part of the game, the hustle and bustle, the physicality of the football league, especially in League Two, but I think I’ve dealt with that quite well.
“We’ll be looking to bounce back, as well as they [Mansfield] will … both teams coming off the back of disappointing results, so we’ll want to bounce back, especially here at Vale Park we want to put on a show for our fans.”