Port Vale defender Gareth Owen coping with dual roles

Port Vale defender Gareth Owen
Owen has missed just one league game for Port Vale so far this season

Port Vale defender Gareth Owen believes he is coping well with combining his playing duties alongside managing the reserve team at Vale Park.

"It's a massive learning curve but it's something that I'm really enjoying," Owen, who is also studying for a media degree, told BBC Radio Stoke.

"It's hard at times because you've got one eye on playing and one eye on the next reserve game that's coming along.

"It's all about managing your time and that's what I'm getting used to."

The 29-year-old continued: "I've got great people to learn from in the gaffer [Micky Adams], Mark Grew and Geoff Horsfield.

"If I can pick up little bits here and there, that will stand me in good stead for the future."

Owen looked set to leave the Valiants at the end of last season, with local rivals Crewe showing an interest in signing him at the end of his contract.

However, Adams was keen to keep the former Stockport captain at Vale Park after returning to the club as manager in May and offered Owen a position within the management set-up, as well as a new two-year playing contract.

Owen had previously done some scouting work for Port Vale, in a spell when he was unable to play because of injury and he is keen to plan for life after football.

"I need to start preparing because I know time is ticking on my career," said Owen.

"I had no hesitation in accepting because learning the tools of your trade as a reserve team coach is brilliant and learning from someone like the gaffer is another.

"I couldn't think of many better places to go to learn your trade as a manager. You learn a lot from different players and you're always looking one step ahead, which is something that I'm starting to appreciate now."

BBC Radio Stoke will have live commentary of Port Vale v Rotherham from 1500 BST on Saturday, 1 October.

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