Port Vale: Veterans Michael Tonge and Antony Kay among nine players released

Port Vale signed Antony Kay (left) and Michael Tonge in the summer of 2017
Port Vale signed Antony Kay (left) and Michael Tonge in the summer of 2017

League Two club Port Vale have released nine players after securing their Football League status.

Former Sheffield United and Leeds midfielder Michael Tonge and defender Antony Kay, both 36, head the list.

Defender Theo Vassell, strikers Dan Turner, Danny Elliott and Dior Angus and midfielders Mike Calveley, Luke Hannant and Harry Benns have also left.

But the Valiants are still to confirm manager John Askey's appointment on a permanent basis.

Askey kept Vale in League Two after being appointed on 4 February until the end of the season.

New Vale owners Carol and Kevin Shanahan made it clear last week when they took over the club that they wanted Askey to remain.

Vale chief executive Colin Garlick told a supporters club meeting on Tuesday night that it was "a priority".

The Valiants finished 20th in League Two for the second season running in 2018-19. But, whereas last season they stayed up by just a point, this time they were a comfortable eight points clear of relegated Notts County.

Vale have 10 players signed up for next season, while another four - defenders Connell Rawlinson and Leon Legge and midfielders David Worrall and Manny Oyeleke - have an option to stay with the club.

Goalkeeper Sam Hornby, 24, is out of contract but has been offered "a further term of re-engagement".

Another Vale veteran, Danny Pugh, has also come to the end of his contract but the 36-year-old midfielder is in talks with the club with a view to a future role at Vale Park.