Port Vale Football Club is delighted to announce that Manager Darrell Clarke has signed a new five-year contract which will keep him at Vale Park until 2027.
Following his appointment in February 2021, Clarke steered the club away from the relegation zone to a comfortable 13th place finish in Sky Bet League Two.
During his first few months in charge, the 44-year-old also led the team to six successive league victories – the Vale’s longest winning streak since March 1996.
In conjunction with the Director of Football and recruitment team, Clarke oversaw a significant overhaul of backroom and playing staff last summer.
During his first year at Vale Park, he has won two Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month Awards, in September and October of last year, becoming the first Vale Manager to win back-to-back accolades.
And, together with his backroom team of Assistant Manager Andy Crosby and First Team Coach Dean Whitehead, Clarke has now led Port Vale to its first Wembley Play-Off final in almost 30 years – this coming Saturday (May 28).
Port Vale Director of Football Dave Flitcroft said: “Darrell is a credit to the club with his passion, his drive and his enthusiasm. I knew that was a part of who he was when we brought him to the club but now I’ve seen it and felt it.
“What we know now, a year on, is that Darrell has developed fantastic relationships with the Chair and the owners, with myself, with the Chief Executive, the Board and everyone around the club.
“With regard to players, Darrell wins their hearts and minds. They would run through a brick wall for him. He cultivates a very good dressing room environment and passes on to players the values of the club from the top – from Carol.
“If you want to build anything strong you need a really strong foundation. The decision on a five-year deal is to keep everyone settled and make sure that everyone knows that for the next five years we are working towards something we all believe in as a club.
“Even during very testing times with Covid, problems with injuries and unprecedented personal challenges, Darrell has come through it with unbelievable strength of character. You look at someone’s qualities through adversity and the truth is that he dealt with all those challenges brilliantly.
“Darrell also takes a keen interest in the Academy. Darrell watches the players and has them training with him. He’s not an isolated manager who just wants to focus on the First Team and nothing else. And that’s really important to us as a club.
“Ultimately, we believe Darrell Clarke takes us forward to where we want to get to. He’s got the ability to do that and he’s certainly got the passion.”
Port Vale Manager Darrell Clarke welcomed the new deal, saying: “This was such an easy decision for me. The support my team and I have received has been second to none and we are building something very special at Port Vale. My focus, as always, remains on continuing to improve – match by match, season by season. And I’m so grateful for this opportunity to work with such incredible people.
“I love working for this club, the owners and Dave Flitcroft. We have such an honest and upfront relationship. The support I have received from day one has been fantastic. We constantly challenge each other because we are all obsessed with football and are driven to create a culture of improvement and success for Port Vale.
“The togetherness throughout the entire club has been shown on the pitch with the season we have had so far. I want more. We all want more. This appetite is needed to drive the club forward. Building a winning culture is what we are all about.”
You can hear what Co-Owner Owner and Chair, Carol Shanahan OBE, had to say about the news below: