Port Vale have received their games for the 2021/22 season as the club prepare for a challenge at the right end of the table.

The club flirted with a relegation battle last season but a streak of eight out of nine wins under new coach Darrell Clarke put them in 13th place, raising expectations for the season ahead.

So now the games are out, here are the key points in the Vale 2021/22 program


(Northampton away on Saturday 7th August)

The opening game in Northampton will be a milestone.

It will be the first time Vale has played in front of a league audience since that game at Cheltenham in early March 2020, the last game of the season before it was abandoned due to the coronavirus.

It will also be the first test for a team that is being completely rebuilt under Darrell Clarke and David Flitcroft. The Vale have already brought in six new signings – Lucas Covolan, Aaron Martin, Dan Jones, Ben Garrity, Brad Walker and James Wilson. By then, they could have up to nine new faces in the building.


(Tranmere in Vale Park on Saturday August 14th)

The first time Vale has played a league game in front of fans at Vale Park in 18 months – since the 2-2 home draw with Scunthorpe in February 2020.

This will be an emotional occasion for the owners and supporters, of whom 3,200 have already bought season tickets for the new campaign.

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The fact that the vast majority of those 4,000 did not request a refund, even though the entire campaign was played behind closed doors, was sincerely thanked by the owners, who themselves invested more than £ 1 million to get the Vale through the year.

Tranmere won’t be easy. You certainly played a key role in Vales’ 2020/21 season. Her comeback 4-3 victory at Vale Park in November arguably marked the beginning of Vale’s dramatic decline that resulted in John Askey losing his job.

Rovers’ 3-1 win in the game at Prenton Park on February 6 was Danny Pugh’s last as caretaker manager, with the club using David Flitcroft as football director and Darrell Clarke as manager.


The Vale hope to be among the frontrunners by Christmas and don’t have to travel too far during the Christmas season.

The Vale are at home against Salford on Boxing Day, part of a Christmas schedule that includes a home game with Exeter on Saturday 18th December and away games at Rochdale on December 29th and Harrogate on New Years Day.


It is fair to say that there is a traditional rivalry between the two clubs. Before Vale began playing more regularly in Stoke City in the late 1980s, Vale fans sang “We hate Walsall more than Stoke”.

The Saddlers usually won the Games, but Vale was able to win back their old rivals when they brought in their manager Darrell Clarke in February.

Clarke, who led Walsall to home and away wins against Vale last season, will look to lead Vale to an in-game league double.

In the meantime, Walsall will no doubt be keen to show that they have progressed under their new head coach, Matt Taylor.

Vale’s first meeting with Walsall is on Tuesday, November 23rd at Vale Park, the second leg on Saturday, April 23rd.

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Vale made a piece of history last season when their Harrogate win in April made them the first club to beat all 91 other clubs in the top four leagues, according to club historian Phil Sherwin.

The Vale have a chance to break that record when they take on the newest newcomers to the Football League, Sutton United.

Vale head to Sutton on Saturday October 9th and entertain them at Vale Park on Saturday March 26th.

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Yes, we know that every club has to play against each other twice, but the Vale have, at least on paper, a difficult start to the season.

The kick-off away from home will be tough, with Vales’ first home game against a Tranmere team that reached the play-offs last season and is ranked by bookies as the fifth favorite to win the league.

Vale’s fifth game in the game is away against a team from Forest Green Rovers, which also reached the play-offs last season and is considered the seventh favorite to win the title.

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Should Vale be in the running at the end of the season, they could face some promotion rivals in the past few weeks.

They are at home on Monday April 18th against the bookmakers’ third favorite, Bristol Rovers, entertained on Saturday 30th of the regular season May 7th.

Vale is the 14th favorite to win the league. Darrell Clarke and his players will have higher goals.

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