Port Vale captain Leon Legge has said that the club can build on the foundations created during the 2019/20 season and push on for another successful campaign next time round.
“It’s disappointing not to be able to finish the season, but it’s something we can build on going into next season,” said the Vale skipper.
“When we got the call that football was going to be suspended, we thought that we’d be back in a few weeks’ time, and then carry on with the rest of the season, but it hasn’t panned out that way.”
“I think we’ve shown what we can do, not many people could see us finishing at the top end of the table at the start of the season.”
“Hopefully when the next season starts, we can be right up there again.”
With just 8 losses, the Valiants had the second lowest amount of defeats in the league but Legge believes there is still things for Vale to improve on next term.
“I think if we turned a few of those draws (Vale drew 15 games in League Two) into wins then we would shoot right up the table and I’m sure the gaffer will be looking at that for next season.”
“In terms of the squad, we’ve got quite a young squad with a few experienced people dotted round like Luke Joyce, Scott Brown, Tom Pope and myself.”
“I think the experience and youth compliments each other really well, and we all understand how the gaffer wants us to play, so if we get new players in who get up to speed with that, hopefully we’ll hit the ground running next season.”
However, Legge does believe that the club has improved significantly during the 2019/20 season, in comparison to the 2018/19 season where the club flirted with relegation from the EFL.
“It has been a massive stride forward for the club, I think when Carol and Kevin came in the fans wanted something to cheer about on the pitch.”
“Most people had us finishing in the bottom half of the league this season and I think we took a lot of teams by surprise this season.”
The process of transitioning from regular training sessions to being put on lockdown following the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult according to the skipper.
“The transition was hard, because we were hearing different things in the media, regarding when we were going to actually come back.”
“In the end the decision was made and you have to respect it and get on with it.”
“At least now we know where we stand which is a bit of a relief.”
Legge has spoken about the role of being the club’s captain, after having being appointed skipper in October.
“I just carried on as normal really, winning games is the main priority.”
“We’ve got a solid squad and the decision was made, so I just got on with the football and made sure that it didn’t affect me on the pitch.”
It has been a memorable season for the Valiants in both league and cup and the skipper has some fond memories when picking out his season highlights.
“I’ll always go back to the game at Manchester City in the FA Cup.”
“The feeling of leading the team out onto the pitch and seeing the away fans and the roar of the noise from the Vale end when we scored.”
“I’ll never forget it, and we held our own against a real top side, and having their fans clap us off was a testament to how well we played.”
The skipper says he is very proud that the club has gained national recognition for the work the club has put into the local community in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s good to see that the club is in the press for all of the right reasons.”
“The recognition is all positive and it’s a testament to how Carol and Kevin (Shanahan) are running the club at the moment.”
“I’m sure we’ll hear a lot more about what the club are doing in the next six to twelve months about the amount they do for the local community.”
And as captain of the club Legge has a message for all of the Vale fans at this time.
“Hopefully, we’ll be back soon, but at the moment look after yourselves and we’ll see you soon!”