Port Vale: Liam Dickinson is ideal recruit, says former team-mate Gareth Owen
STRIKER Liam Dickinson has been tipped to become the real deal at Port Vale.
Former team-mate Gareth Owen says the 27-year-old frontman has all the attributes to become a firm fans' favourite – if he completes a move to Vale Park.
The pair won promotion at Stockport four years ago and Owen is hoping his friend can help the Valiants follow suit.
Free agent Dickinson, who is recovering from a broken ankle, has agreed terms with the club, but must prove his fitness in pre-season training before a deal can be confirmed.
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"Liam is one of the best strikers in League Two on his day," said the central defender.
"He is big, strong and quick – a real handful for anyone marking him – and he knows where the back of the net is.
"He's proved that wherever he has been. If we did sign him, I'm sure he'd score lots of goals."
Owen lifted the play-off trophy as Stockport, managed by former Vale boss Jim Gannon, beat Rochdale 3-2 to win a place in League One.
Dickinson was among the scorers as he completed his second season in professional football with 21 goals in 48 games.
The striker won a money-spinning move to Derby and has since figured for a string of different clubs before leaving Southend at the end of last season.
But Owen played down reports that Dickinson's colourful personality was a concern.
"Some people have said he's been a wild boy in the past, but I've not seen that," he added.
"He's a character, but when the time comes to knuckle down and work hard, he'll be there and doing his fair share.
"He has to get himself fit and prove to the gaffer there are no problems, but I'm sure it won't be long.
"Hopefully we can add him to the list of players who have come in."
VALE'S friendly at Alsager, due to be played next Wednesday has been brought forward to the Tuesday (7.30pm).
The match against Newcastle Town on Saturday, July 21 will now kick off at 2.30pm.