Manager John Askey says he is delighted that the start date for the 2020/21 League Two season is pencilled in, but is disappointed that the campaign begins before fans will be allowed back into football stadiums across the country.
It was announced on Friday that the new EFL season would begin on the weekend of the 12th September.
“I’m delighted that we’ve finally got a date to work towards,” said Askey.
“My only reservation is that clubs were asked for a preferred date between 29th August and 12th September but since then the government have said that we won’t be able to play with supporters until October.”
“The supporters have missed being able to come and watch us, and when you look back on footage of last season you realise how much you have actually missed it.”
“There are plenty of clubs in League One and Two who won’t be able to afford to start the season without people coming through the gate. As soon as we come off furlough, clubs have got to pay the players, and without any revenue coming in, some clubs could struggle.”
The Vale boss says that the squad are aiming to be back in pre-season training around the 3rd of August.
“We’re working towards 3rd August, and hopefully everything will get resolved and we will get to start in September.”
Askey says he has been thinking about the side’s return to pre-season for a long time, and is very excited about seeing the squad after over four months since the Valiants last fixture.
“The return to training is something I’ve been looking forward to for weeks and weeks, and when we do finally get a confirmed date, it will be fantastic.”
“I just hope we can get back to where we were when we finished, and become a hard team to beat and a competitive team in League Two.”
The Vale boss revealed that he was delighted that all seven players offered a new deal in the summer have taken up the option and stayed on at Vale.
“It says a lot about the football club and where we are going.”
“I’ve never had a situation where everybody signs on.”
“I think they enjoyed last season and want to finish it off, so let’s hope they can recapture their form when we go again.”
Askey also stated that he is optimistic for the upcoming League Two campaign and hopes to build on last season, where the Valiants finished in eighth.
“I’m really optimistic, there’s no reason why we can’t do well.”
“You always need that little bit of luck, but if we get off to a decent start, it can snowball.”
“We’re all looking forward to it, so hopefully we can give the supporters something to cheer about again.”