Port Vale: Adams makes double player swoop
MICKY Adams has pulled off his first signings of the summer with a double swoop for Glenn Hoddle Academy graduates Ryan Burge and Ben Williamson.
The pair arrive at Vale Park today, confusingly from Conference North side Hyde FC, the Spain-based Academy's English partner club who held their registrations.
Attacking midfielder Burge, aged 22, played on a short-term deal with Doncaster Rovers last season and has joined for a small undisclosed fee on a two-year contract.
Pacy forward Williamson, also aged 22, had a similar short-term arrangement with Bournemouth, who had offered the player new one-year terms to stay in League One.
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The former Brighton University maths student comes to Vale on a season-long loan deal.
Adams, pictured below, said: "Both Ryan and Ben are two young players with a lot of potential and we believe they can have a big impact on the squad this season.
"Ryan is a creative central midfielder and will bring plenty of quality on the ball, but he is also a very hard-working individual.
"Ben is a quick striker who I have been tracking for a while. I believe he is a player who can develop with us.
"We are delighted he has agreed to join us, especially as he has turned down a deal at Bournemouth to come to Vale Park."
Williamson was goalless in four substitute appearances at Bournemouth in the second half of last season, but proved prolific in Spain earlier in the campaign.
He scored eight goals in 12 games for Jerez Industrial, the team linked with Hoddle's academy, in the fourth tier of the country's league pyramid.
Former Birmingham City trainee Burge, above, impressed at Jerez alongside Williamson, and also made five appearances on loan at Oxford United towards the end of the season.
Neil Duncanson, the Glenn Hoddle Academy's commercial director said: "Ryan is very strong, powerful and suited to the front of a diamond in central midfield. He's a creative player who can take an excellent dead ball.
"Ben is very fast with a good eye for goal. He has fantastic movement off the ball and the pace to take on any defender.
"It is our hope that they will work their way right up to the top of the game, and we think Micky Adams is a great manager for them to be working under to achieve that."
VALE'S first-round Carling Cup tie against Huddersfield will be played on Tuesday, August 9 (7.45pm) Tickets for the Vale Park clash will cost £12 (£6 concessions).
Admission for Vale's pre-season friendly against Walsall, on Saturday, July 30 (1pm) will be £10 (£5 concessions).
WORK has started to install a statue of Vale legend Roy Sproson at club's ground.
The fan-led Sproson Fund, which has been planning the project for a decade, was yesterday able to begin work on a plinth for the 16ft bronze-covered tribute.
"It is relief to finally see the work start," said group treasurer Pete Williams.