Stevens, McQueen and Atkinson scoop awards

The end of season presentation night was held last night and Jason Stevens, Blair Atkinson and Andy McQueen walked home with the awards.

Stevens was voted players’ player of the year, McQueen picked up the committee’s player of the year and Atkinson was awarded Chris Anderson’s manager’s player of the year.

Atkinson and Stevens formed an electric partnership over the season with the former topping the scoring charts with 17. Stevens proved to be quite a talismanic figure, picking up 12 goals of his own including some spectacular strikes.

At the other end goalkeeper McQueen was a formidable presence, with Honorary Vice-President Stanley Clifford commenting that he and Honorary President Keith Brown reckoned he was a stand out over the course of the season.


Anderson thanked the players for their efforts but reserved most praise for the club’s devoted band of volunteers who work tirelessly to keep the club running. He also expressed a desire for everyone involved to keep pulling in the same direction to make the club successful.


Currie leads group of Vale players in signing new deals

Ryan Currie has extended his stay at Vale of Leithen for another season, along with the majority of last season’s squad as Chris Anderson starts to piece together plans for next season.

The former Livingston midfielder joined in March after a short spell at East Kilbride and impressed in midfield in the latter stages of the season.

Anderson was keen to secure his services for another year and fortunately the player had a similar desire to do a deal.

The gaffer recently spoke of a desire to keep developing and he has also now revealed that some new signings will be made to supplement the existing group.

Anderson said: “I’m delighted Ryan has agreed to sign again next season and it shows the ambitions of the club when a player of his calibre signs.

“Ryan is a terrific player but most importantly a good character. We see him as an integral part of our plans for next season and have no doubt he can continue to develop next season.”

“The majority of the squad have extended their stay for next season and we hope to add in some key areas over the next few weeks.”

Match Preview: Stirling Uni – League Cup is Vale’s last chance for success

Vale coach Sean Taylor hopes the League Cup can be used as an opportunity to generate some success for the season. He then wants the team to go and strive for improvement next season.

After a topsy-turvy season, Vale ended up finishing 12th in the league. There were some impressive results and good runs of form which showed the ability and potential which exists at the club, but there were also some disappointments and losing streaks which undermined some of the good work.

Reflecting on that, Taylor said: “League positions never lie and that’s the bottom line. We were in a strong position with five games to go to finish top half which would have been a fantastic achievement for the club.

“It just shows how tight a league it is that we’ve finished 12th when we could have ended up top half. We went on winning and losing streaks and we can’t afford to do that next year.

“The League Cup gives the guys one last chance to push for silverware. Stirling came down here a few weeks ago and scored a last minute goal in a very even match. If we turn up on the day we’re as good as anyone in this league.

This was his first season on the staff at Vale after Chris Anderson brought him in to primarily work as a fitness coach. His role has ended up being more wide ranging than that, and he has enjoyed his spell at the club so far.

“It’s been fantastic. I can’t thank the club enough and Chris for giving me the opportunity to come in and work with the guys on a weekly basis.

“It’s been hard at points, being a small club you have things to deal with that sometimes come out of nowhere but as a club we’ve came together and are in a stronger position going into next season than we were last year”, said Taylor.

Along with Chris Anderson, Assistant Manager Keith McLeod and Goalkeeping Coach Mark Beveridge, Taylor recently signed on for a further two years.

After signs of progress in their first year, the 29-year-old revealed there is an ambition to keep on developing.

He added: “I was delighted to sign on for two more years. Chris is a close friend and we share the ambitions so it’s great working with him and the other members of staff. We’ve a unique group of players who work there socks off for me in training and I genuinely believe there is more to come from them.

“With some added additions of quality we can take the club higher without question. Top eight would be a good target but I think we can go further. It’s about getting the momentum early season and finding that consistency.

“Finding consistency is paramount for a strong showing in any league. It’s been a learning curve for some of the players who have come from a lower level or Boys’ Club football and maybe took time to adjust.

“Next year they will be one year older and wiser and we will hopefully see the benefits of that. As a coaching staff we just have to keep helping the guys make the right decisions week after week.”


Match Preview: Gretna 2008 – Still all to play at Vale

The curtain comes down on the Lowland League season tomorrow, but it will not be a case of taking the foot off the pedal for Vale of Leithen.

A win against Gretna 2008 married with favourable results elsewhere could elevate them to seventh in the table. Despite a season featuring frustrating spells, Vale have shown their ability and potential at other times and a top half finish would constitute a fairly successful season as well as being just rewards for the efforts of players and coaching staff.

They could already be in seventh had things gone their way at Hawick on Tuesday night but a spate of call offs left Chris Anderson with slim pickings from which to choose his side and a 3-1 reverse was the outcome.

Anderson said: “It was always going to be a difficult night with so many players not available for one reason or another.

“I had several call offs late in the day and only just managed to field a team.

“Credit to the boys for the way they responded in the second half and we were a little unfortunate not to get something from the game.”

Several of those unavailable during the week return to the squad today to make the squad much fuller for the crucial trip to Gretna. Anderson wants the side to take advantage of that by propelling themselves up the league and make a statement ahead of next season.

“We will go to Gretna with a stronger squad than Tuesday night’s defeat to Hawick. We welcome back Ryan Currie, Ali Smith, Shaun Stevens, Sean Stewart and Keith McLeod.

Previous Results

Gretna 1-2 Vale (South Challenge Cup 15/10/16)Vale 3-1 Gretna (Lowland League 5/11/16)

Match Preview: Edin Uni is a big one for Smith

Ali Smith believes the closeness of the two teams’ league positions makes the Vale’s match against Edinburgh University an important one.

The two teams are locked on 34 points in the Lowland League ahead of tomorrow’s clash and so it represents a chance to jump ahead of them and go three points clear.

With only a few games left of the league season, every point is massive as teams scramble to finish as high up as possible. Vale’s season has promised much but also frustrated in equal measure and they will be desperate to finish on as much of a high as possible and prove that they can compete higher up in the league than the table currently shows.

Smith said: “It’s a big game because of how close by the teams are in the league. It should be a tough game because they are ahead of us in the league so it would be good to get a result against them.

“I think we played well against Stirling Uni until the last ten or fifteen minutes when we maybe switched off a bit. So we can be confident of getting a result.

“Since I’ve come in it has been good to get some game time. I’ve been injured for the last couple of weeks so I need to try and get back in.

“But the boys have been doing well and have had some good results.”

The midfielder is currently on loan from Hibs, where he has unfortunately been told he will not be handed a new deal for next season. He revealed that there have been no discussions with regards to a move and as such he is playing to win a future somewhere.

“I’ve been told that I’m not getting a new contract at Hibs. There hasn’t been any chat about getting anything else sorted, so hopefully it’s something that gets sorted in the next few weeks.

“I will just need to keep playing and trying to do well for the rest of the season to try and secure something”, he said.

Vale will be boosted by Wednesday night’s hard fought victory over Whitehill Welfare and will be looking to build momentum. However, the uni also beat Welfare last time out and if the league is anything to go by a close match is in store.