Dodds playing for Port Vale in September 2010.
|Full name||Louis Bartholomew Dodds|
|Date of birth||8 October 1986|
|Place of birth||Sheffield, England|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Playing position||Midfielder / Striker|
|Current club||Port Vale|
|Ratby & Groby|
|2006||→ Northwich Victoria (loan)||6||(3)|
|2007||→ Rochdale (loan)||12||(2)|
|2007–2008||→ Lincoln City (loan)||41||(9)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:00, 2 March 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
After many years at the Leicester City Academy, he turned professional at the club in 2006. He spent the 2006–07 season on loan at Conference side Northwich Victoria and League Two club Rochdale. He then spent the entirety of the 2007–08 campaign on loan at Lincoln City. He turned down a new deal with Leicester to sign for Port Vale in July 2008, and was rewarded with 48 games in 2008–09, scoring ten goals. He scored eight goals in 49 games in 2009–10 and scored seven times in 41 games in 2010–11. He scored eight goals in 38 games in 2011–12, before helping the club to secure promotion out of League Two in 2012–13 with seven goals in 36 matches.
Sheffield-born Dodds and his family moved to Leicester when he just five years old, where he joined the Leicester City youth academy at the age of ten. He joined Leicester after being spotted by a talent scout while playing for Ratby & Groby, and whilst there earned himself a call-up to the England under-18 squad. He finished the 2005–06 season with a hat-trick in the final of the Westerby Challenge Cup, and also picked up the Academy Player of the Year trophy having scored 65 goals in three seasons for the Academy and reserves. Dodds was described by the Leicester management as "the most natural finisher at the club".
Dodds signed a new contract with the "Foxes" to keep him at the club until the summer of 2007, but on 9 October 2006 was allowed to join Conference side Northwich Victoria on loan to gain some first team experience. This loan deal was extended in November, before he was recalled by the "Foxes" at the end of the month due to an injury crisis. In February 2007 he joined Rochdale on loan, and scored an early winner on his first start. He scored two goals in twelve games for the "Dale".
In July 2007 he agreed to a season long loan deal at Lincoln City. He scored nine goals during his spell with Lincoln City and was voted as scorer of the club's goal of the season for his long-range strike against Wycombe Wanderers. He showed an interest in joining the club permanently and was offered a new contract at parent club Leicester, but instead joined League Two's Port Vale on 21 July 2008, penning a two-year deal.
On 9 August 2008, Dodds made his first start for the Vale in the opening game of the season against Luton Town and he was quick to win over his new supporters, scoring Vale's opening goal of the season with a 20 yard right footed shot. He further enhanced his popularity with the Vale faithful with a long range strike against Shrewsbury Town. He especially enjoyed great popularity with the club's female support, as he took away the club's 2009 "Mr Shirt of the Back" Award; he went on to pick up the award for three seasons running. He scored a total of ten goals in 48 games in 2008–09.
Manager Micky Adams arrived for the 2009–10 season, and transfer listed Dodds in late September, along with the entire Port Vale squad, after Vale slipped to a third consecutive defeat. Dodds maintained his first team place however, scoring seven goals in 48 appearances. He was offered a new two-year contract by the club at the end of the season, which he duly signed.
Vale enjoyed a positive start to the 2010–11 season. However in January 2011, Dodds found he was not a first team regular under new manager Jim Gannon, despite calls from supporters for Gannon to include Dodds in the first eleven. Yet he managed to force himself back into contention with an impressive strike to seal a 2–1 win over Macclesfield Town on 5 March, after coming into the match as a late substitute. After Gannon left the club just two weeks later, Dodds admitted that he probably would have left the club had Gannon remained in charge much longer. He scored his first hat-trick in the Football League on 30 April, along with Justin Richards, in a 7–2 win over Morecambe.
He was not in the first team at the start of the 2011–12 campaign, but instead came off the bench in five of the "Valiants"' first six games. Having started just three league games by the half-way stage, Dodds admitted that his versatility was preventing him from nailing down a specialized role in the first eleven. His third goal of the season came on 14 February, when he scored a "sensational" 15 yard volley past Bradford City at Valley Parade. This was later voted as the club's Goal of the Season. He struck twice in a 2–1 win at Aldershot on 6 April, and was named on the League Two team of the week. He agreed to commit his future to the club in May 2012.
Desperate to play as a striker in the 2012–13 season, he got his wish as he was played as a deep-lying striker in partnership with Tom Pope. Combined with wingers Jennison Myrie-Williams and Ashley Vincent, the four man strike force fired Vale into second place in the league over the first quarter of the campaign. On 18 September, he converted a "stunning strike with the outside of his foot" in a 5–2 victory over Fleetwood Town at Highbury Stadium – later this was voted the club's goal of the season. However he lost his first team place, before "a heart-to-heart with boss Micky Adams... got him back on track", and on 15 December he marked his first start for a month with his first goal in three months – it proved to be a crucial goal against promotion rivals Cheltenham Town in a 1–1 draw at Whaddon Road. Vale secured promotion with a third-place finish at the end of the season, with Dodds finishing on seven goals in 36 games. He agreed to sign a new two-year contract in the summer.
Style of play
A skilful and pacey player, due to his goalscoring ability he is able to play as both a midfielder and as a striker. He has stated that he prefers to play in the centre of the pitch. Despite his finishing skills from open play, he is a very poor penalty-taker.
"[Dodds] has a great brain and he sees passes that nobody else sees. He has unbelievable quality and he's always trying different things. He has that ability similar to how Dennis Bergkamp used to be at Arsenal. I'm not comparing him to Bergkamp, but he had that vision to spot a pass and time it well. If you can read it and make the runs, he will create a lot for you."
Dodds is a Sheffield Wednesday fan. He is the second of four children. His family live in Leicester and Sheffield, whereas Dodds lives in Stoke-on-Trent with his fiancé and son. During his time at Vale Park he was considered the "ringleader of the dressing-room banter".
|Season||Club||Division||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|2006–07||Northwich Victoria (loan)||Conference National||6||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||6||3|
|2006–07||Rochdale (loan)||League Two||12||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||12||2|
|2007–08||Lincoln City (loan)||League Two||41||9||2||0||1||0||0||0||44||9|
|2008–09||Port Vale||League Two||44||7||2||3||1||0||1||0||48||10|
- Port Vale
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- Shaw, Steve (7 March 2011). "Port Vale: Dodds catches the eye with stunning strike to seal Vale success". The Sentinel. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- "Port Vale 2 – 1 Macclesfield". BBC Sport. 5 March 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- Shaw, Steve (26 March 2011). "Port Vale: I would probably have left had Gannon remained as boss, admits Dodds". The Sentinel. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- Phil Sherwin. "Phil Sherwin: Bizarre victory a fitting Vale Park finale for a bizarre season". The Sentinel. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- "Port Vale: Dodds wants chance to prove he's better than sub standard". The Sentinel. 30 August 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
- "Port Vale's Louis Dodds frustrated with lack of opportunities". BBC Sport. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
- "Port Vale's Louis Dodds 'held back by versatility'". BBC Sport. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
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- "Aldershot's faint League Two play-off hopes were dented by mid-table Port Vale who earned victory thanks to two goals from Louis Dodds". BBC Sport. 6 April 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
- "Team of the Week". port-vale.co.uk. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
- "Chris Shuker and Louis Dodds sign up for Port Vale's new era". The Sentinel. 26 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "Louis Dodds eyes lead role in promotion push". The Sentinel. 23 June 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- "Louis Dodds ready to help team muscle their way to promotion". The Sentinel. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- "Proud Micky Adams hails fab four after thrashing Fleetwood Town". The Sentinel. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- "Tom Pope wins player-of-the-year award". The Sentinel. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- "Dodds lifted by pep talk from Adams". The Sentinel. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
- "Port Vale: Dodds, Birchall, Johnson & Morris to stay". BBC Sport. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- Glendinning, Mike (30 December 2011). "Macclesfield v Port Vale: Preview". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- "Port Vale: Dodds still searching for ideal role". The Sentinel. 27 August 2009. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
- "Dodds paying the penalty for his spot of bother". The Sentinel. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- "Dodds tipped to be gunning for goals this season". The Sentinel. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "Louis Dodds game for a laugh with his team-mates". The Sentinel. 12 July 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- Includes other competitive competitions, including the Football League Trophy
- "Games played by Louis Dodds in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by Louis Dodds in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by Louis Dodds in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by Louis Dodds in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by Louis Dodds in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by Louis Dodds in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Games played by Louis Dodds in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- "Games played by Louis Dodds in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2012.