Port Vale midfielder Luke Joyce says he is delighted to sign a new deal, which will keep him at the club for a further 12 months.
“It was just a matter of signing a contract, there were no difficulties and it was pretty straight forward,” said the 32-year-old midfielder.
“Even before the pandemic hit, I was really happy at the club with John Askey, Dave Kevan, Pughey and all of the staff.”
“I love being part of the changing room, and I was coming into work every day with a smile on my face, something which I probably couldn’t have said twelve months previously.”
“I’m delighted to sign for another twelve months for a great club like Port Vale and a club that is going in the right direction.”
Port Vale manager John Askey shared Joyce’s delight, providing his thoughts on the experienced midfielder committing to another season at Vale Park.
“Luke has done really well while I have been in. I think how we play has suited him,” said the Valiants manager.
“I am pleased to get him back because he was virtually ever present and week in, week out, you knew what you were going to get from Luke.”
“His attitude and football ability have been a big part of why we did well last season.”
Port Vale Chief Executive Colin Garlick, is also satisfied that the deal to keep Joyce at the club is complete.
“We are delighted to have Luke sorted out, had he not had the option I am absolutely sure we would have been making him an offer,” said the club’s chief executive.
“The only game we lost at home was against Walsall – and he wasn’t playing.
Indeed, Joyce started 36 out of a possible 37 league games, only missing one game through suspension.
Joyce believes that the club has taken huge strides forward in the past twelve months, with the club having just missed out on the play-offs this term compared to the season before when the club flirted with relegation out of the EFL for large periods of the season.
“It’s almost a totally different club to when I first walked through the door.”
“The club has much more of a family feel and everyone works hard alongside each other to push the club forward.”
“I think Kevin and Carol (Shanahan) have done an unbelievable job and they’re constantly telling us as players that they’ll do everything they can to make the club the best it can be.”
Joyce has operated as a defensive midfielder in the side this season, a role he has particularly enjoyed.
“It’s a role I really enjoy playing.”
“I didn’t really play there last season as we tended to play with two in the middle, but I think it’s a role I’ve made my own this season.”
“I think it’s a role where I can have a positive influence on the team, and gives the two in front of me a bit more freedom and license to roam.”
The current coronavirus pandemic brought the League Two season to an early conclusion in March and despite signing a new contract, Joyce is not entirely sure when his next Port Vale appearance may be.
“Obviously nobody knows what is going on.”
“It’s frustrating as players because we don’t know when we will be back in training, so we can’t work towards a date we’re going to return yet.”
“Hopefully once we get a date in mind then we can really plan out our fitness work and make sure we’re 100% when we get back.”
Away from playing, Joyce has been impressed with work that has been carried out by the Port Vale Community Hub.
“The work that has been done is unbelievable, and it’s an example of how well Kevin and Carol have done since they have taken over the club.”
“It just shows that Port Vale is more than just a football club, it’s an important part of the community.”
“I’m sure the whole of the surrounding area has benefitted from the work.”