Port Vale Promotion Winner Expected To Leave Rivals

Following a rather dismal second half to their League One season, Port Vale would finish in 23rd and will therefore be playing in England’s fourth tier next season.

It’s a bitterly disappointing outcome given that the club brought in Darren Moore to lead them to survival, something which obviously didn’t come to fruition. Nonetheless, their is hope for the future, especially now that they’re pitched into the calmer waters of League Two.

They’ve already got the ball rolling this transfer window, announcing the marquee signing of Roman Curtis. The forward was expected to return to League One after a spell with AFC Wimbledon but Port Vale seem to be rather ambitious going into the new season and capturing the signing of Curtis emphasises just that.

Immediate promotion will no doubt be the goal for the Valiants and they have a good chance of that if able to get their summer recruitment right. There are however plenty of other sides who are expected to be promotion-contenders in what looks to be a wide open League Two renewal. Vale, alongside the three other relegated teams, Cheltenham Town, Fleetwood Town and Carlisle United will all be hoping for better seasons in the fourth tier but that is by no means a guarantee.

Times are beginning to look all the bleaker for one of those rivals for next term, Cheltenham Town, who could be dealt quite a significant blow with Jon Palmer reporting on Twitter (X) that manager Darrell Clarke is expected to leave the club.

Although he couldn’t quite keep them in the third tier, vast improvements were seen under Clarke at Cheltenham and he almost pulled off a rather spectacular escape.

Clarke, who was formerly the Valiants boss prior to joining the Robins, is a very well respected name at the level and he’d be a huge loss if he was to walk this season. Vale fans will have fond memories of Clarke’s time with the club, with the manager leading them alongside Andy Crosby to promotion via the play-offs in the 2021-22 season.

It’s a huge boost for any League Two sides’ chances of promotion next term if Clarke was to leave as Cheltenham would be facing a rather significant uphill battle without him. Given how he turned the club around its perhaps not a surprise to see him walk as he’ll probably want another job in the third tier and a large-scale rebuild will be needed at the Completely-Suzuki Stadium if so.

Writer’s View

Clarke will be remembered as somewhat of a legend at Port Vale having played a significant part in their promotion back to League One and will have a fond place in fans’ hearts despite ending his spell with the club on a slightly sour note.

Vale will certainly be a side to watch next season under Darren Moore and have already shown their intent for next term through the signing of Ronan Curtis who is certainly a player to watch.

As for Cheltenham, things look rather bleak and if Clarke was to go then they could suffer in the fourth tier next season and will require a significant rebuild.

About Ivan Newsome 541 Articles
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