Port Vale: Doug Loft named as new Valiants captain
MICKY Adams has chosen Doug Loft to captain Port Vale's promotion push this season.
The 25-year-old replaces striker Marc Richards, who left the club at the end of last season to join League Two rivals Chesterfield.
Boss Adams said last season's player of the year thoroughly deserved the honour of leading out the Valiants.
"Doug is a model professional," said the manager.
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"He gets on and does his job, he's desperate for success and I think he has all the attributes to be a really good skipper.
"He has the respect of the other players, who voted him their player of the season last year, so that sums it up."
Loft, who lives in Stone, first played under Adams at Brighton and became one of his first signings at Vale Park in July, 2009.
He has made 117 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring nine times. Five of those goals were last season, when he was a virtual ever-present in the first team, operating in midfield and at full-back.
He signed a two-year extension to his contract with the Valiants in June 2011.
"There were a few candidates for the job," added Adams, "but I'd like to think we've got more than one captain in the team anyway.
"I need somebody who's going to be out there on a regular basis, and I think Doug deserves the chance to do it."
Loft was switched from his usual midfield role to play at left-back following Lee Collins's departure to Barnsley in December.
He made a seamless transition with a string of stand-out performances to win the player of the year gong hands down.
He was also named as the Sir Stanley Matthews Port Vale Potteries Footballer of the Year at The Sentinel/City of Stoke-on-Trent Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
Loft was delighted to have been handed the armband.
"It's a massive honour to be made captain," he said.
"The gaffer told me I had set the standard with my performances last year and he wants me to do that again in the hope that others will follow."
Loft, though, believes being skipper won't change his approach to the game.
"I'm quite vocal on the pitch anyway and I think I'm good at organising, so I'll play the same way but just be the captain as well," he explained.
"There are a lot of leaders in this team, it won't be just me."
TOM Pope took his personal tally to eight goals in two days as Vale beat Shiven Rovers 9-0 last night.
The striker, who hit four in a 5-0 win at Athlone Town on Wednesday, added four more in a stroll against the Roscommon and District League outfit.
Louis Dodds, Ashley Vincent, Chris Shuker, John McCombe and Clayton McDonald were also on target in an informal friendly.
PORT Vale's youth team were beaten 1-0 at Wolverhampton Casuals in their latest pre-season friendly last night.