Craig Looks Ahead to a Bright 2021/22

Vale manager Craig Stewart has plenty of reason to be optimistic ahead of the new season.

With new signings in place, supporters back in football stadiums and a full pre-season under their belts, Craig is hoping that the 2021/22 campaign will deliver good results for the club. “The season is going to one where we have to aim to finish as high up the table as possible. We want to build a successful team at the Vale and bring good times back to Princess Royal Park. In terms of cup competitions we need to pushing to get to the latter stages. It would be great to get to a final great for the squad of players, all involved at the club and of course the supporters”.

Vale gaffer Craig Stewart with new assistant manager Michael Morrison

The Vale have recruited new players across the core of the team, including central midfielder Rory Davidson and defender Innes Mckay from Deveronside, goalkeeper Sean McIntosh and midfielder Michael Watson from Dufftown and James Connelly on loan from Inverurie Locos, alongside a number of local youth players and loan signings. “We knew the squad needed freshening up and strengthening given the required turnover of players at the club. I’ve been delighted with all our new recruits so far and they all have something different to offer. With such change in the squad it may take time for the new players to gel and get used to each other, however the spirit amongst the group is very strong at the moment and I’m looking forward to working with them all throughout the season”.

Craig’s man management style will play a big part too, complemented by assistant manager Michael Morrison and coaches Kev Stewart and James Blanchard. “You’ve got to be able to read players when they are up or down, or how to get them up when they are down, maybe when they are struggling from something outwith football, you need to recognise the signs and the signals. My thing is I will be there to support any of the players with that and help them in the right direction if need be”.

The return of league football also coincides with the returns of fans to Princess Royal Park, and Craig is hoping the club’s ‘12th man’ can come out in good numbers and spur the team on to success. “I think there are a lot of supporters out there. I think firstly with what we’ve all been through a lot of people will have missed football, not just at Deveronvale, but everywhere. I see it as a great opportunity and I think there will be a bit more interest with people wanting to go to games. I think it’s important to try to make the most of that moment and try to show the supporters coming back that there is something happening and there is a bit of drive on and off the pitch and hopefully we can build from there.”

Deveronvale face Brora Rangers at Princess Royal Park this Saturday at 3pm.

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