A Round-up of Argyle News
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Greens on Screen's Daily Diary is a compilation of Argyle news, with help from these and other Argyle-related sites.
On This Day:
Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.
Romain Larrieu takes a lot of pride from what he achieved during his 13 years with Argyle, and also insisted he had no bitterness about his departure from the club. He said: "I feel very proud about what I achieved at Argyle. I still say 'we' when I talk about the club. I have got no bitterness. I have enjoyed it, even in the tough times. It was nice to be part of the club. My little one is Argyle mad and has already been on at me about watching a game here and there, so I will be back. I will definitely follow the results." Neither Carl Fletcher nor Larrieu had any coaching or management experience when they stepped up after the dismissal of Peter Reid. After helping Argyle to safety in 2011/12, Larrieu quit as a goalkeeper to concentrate on his duties as number two to Fletcher, and insists he had no regrets about taking the step into management. He said: "Not at all. I felt it was the right thing to do. We'd had three or four absolutely horrific years at the club and I thought 'if they want me to try to sort it out, I want to give it a go.' It couldn't carry on the way it was. The players were so unhappy. Looking back on that first season now, not being involved with the club any more, it was a great achievement to stay up after getting only one point from nine games. It was brilliant. That moment when we knew we had done enough was liberating." Larrieu blamed a combination of things for Argyle's struggles at the start of last season, which ultimately led to Fletcher being replaced. He said: "We never got our strikers fit. There was always one or two injured and that was a problem. There was no competition there. The fit one would play, which is not ideal. It's nothing against them, it's just the way it was. Performances were good but we lacked a cutting edge up front." Larrieu has stayed in touch with Fletcher since his departure from Home Park and believes he will return to management at some point. "He is doing fine," said Larrieu. "I think we have all learned a lot from our experience, things we were happy with and things that we wish we had done differently. That's just the learning curve. I don't know if he would want to be a manager right now. I think he wouldn't mind having a coaching position somewhere and learn the right way. We couldn't do that at Argyle because we were just thrown in." Larrieu is confident that John Sheridan can lead a resurgence in fortunes for the club, and added: "The fans have had so much to cope with in the last few years. Everybody got hurt from it, but we are still a Football League club."
Sean McCarthy has described his appointment as first team coach at Argyle as 'a dream job'. He said: "It's fantastic for me. I live on the doorstep and we have been down here since the second spell I had at Plymouth, which is almost 15 years ago now. My children have grown up here and it's a lovely part of the world. To actually get back involved with the club, after two spells of playing, I can't think of anything better. John Sheridan took over towards the end of last season and kept the team in the League. I jumped when he offered me the opportunity to come back into this fantastic football club for the third time. Hopefully, it's third time lucky." Sheridan first sounded out McCarthy about a role at Argyle shortly after the end of last season. McCarthy added: "I kept in touch with John and when I got back from America a week or so ago he spoke to me and asked whether I would come in and join his backroom staff. I didn't even hesitate. I said 'yes' before even thinking what else was going to happen along with it. I'm absolutely delighted. It's a dream job for me. John and I both played for Oldham Athletic but not at the same time. I have been in John's company a few times. He knows various people I have played with. I think John has possibly made a few phone calls regarding myself, and I have done the same to find out what type of person he is as well. We like the game played properly, we like hard work and we like the players to work hard. We all want success, especially for this football club. People keep talking about the potential down here. It's a sleeping giant."
Jason Banton has revealed that he would consider a return to Argyle on loan. "I haven't heard anything about my future, as far as I know I'm back next week with Palace," he said. "It would all come down to Ian Holloway, he's the boss, of course. What's best for me is all down to him. Obviously, every young professional wants to be playing first-team football, so he knows that I've got hunger to play in the first team at Palace. It will be up to him whether he wants me to play in someone else's first team or not for experience, or I could play in the Under-21 side. It's totally down to him." The loan signing of Banton last season went a long way towards Argyle staying in the league. Banton said: "Along with the team, I helped them stay up in League Two, so I can see why John Sheridan may want to get me back. I loved playing for Plymouth and under John, but it would be up to Ian Holloway if it would be better for my development or play higher."
Fans will be able to watch the Argyle squad prepare for matches during the coming season. John Sheridan has agreed to open up the regular Thursday morning training session at Harper's Park to supporters. He said: "I'm happy to invite supporters up to the training ground at Harper's Park to watch our Thursday morning session. I hope it will give them an insight into the preparation that goes into matches, as well as the hard work that the players and coaches put in to trying to make this club a successful one." A special area of Harper's Park will be marked off, from where fans will be able to watch the players go through their paces.
Dominic Blizzard is hoping his move to Argyle will give his career a double lift. He believes working under John Sheridan can only improve him as a player and consequently have a positive impact on the club's fortunes. Blizzard said: "Of course, he was an excellent player and I think he can improve my game. I like to think that technically I'm quite good and can get up the pitch when I need to. So I'm sure he'll have a lot of things he can teach me to help me improve." The midfielder is looking forward to the challenge of playing in League Two. He said: "I am, yes, but then every season is a challenge, isn't it, especially at a new club. You want to get set up and feel comfortable and feel part of the team straightaway. And I'm looking forward to it and to a good season. At Yeovil last season, I started out in the team but then had the injury just before Christmas. Then the team went on a really good run which ended up with them getting promoted. It was frustrating for me as the injury kept me out for a long time and I just wanted to play, but I couldn't get back in. Obviously, I'm happy for them to have been successful, but really anywhere that I go, I want the team to succeed. That's the main thing really." Blizzard can remember when Argyle were the top side in the South West and knows all about the potential at the club. "I played against Plymouth in the Championship when I was at Watford and so I know how big the club is," he added. "So, yes that was a another major factor in me coming here."
John Sheridan has welcomed Sean McCarthy back to Home Park. He said: "Sean has valuable experience in the Championship with a friend of mine, Paul Jewell. He's an ex player, lives in the area and think he will be a really good addition to my coaching staff. With John Harbin, Gary Owers and Rhys Wilmot, who's well known at the club and works at the club already, I'm really pleased with my staff. There's some valuable experience there and people who have a played and coached at a high level who can only do as good."
John Sheridan believes Reuben Reid can achieve his true potential with Argyle next season. "I'm just pleased I've got Reuben for pre-season," said Sheridan. "Even though he did well for us last season, I think if you can get him fit, and I don't think he was fully fit when he came here last season, he can be one of the best strikers in the league. His fitness levels are getting good now, so, if you can merge that with match fitness and we can get a few more goals from him, then he will be one of the best in League Two." Meanwhile, Andres Gurrieri signed his new one-year deal with the club yesterday.
Lewis Alessandra is confident teaming up again with John Sheridan can only improve him as a striker. "I'd done okay at Morecambe, but I now feel like this is my next step," he said. "I like to think of myself as an exciting player who can make things happen. I like the ball at my feet. But I'm the first one to tell you I haven't scored enough goals in my career. I need to add that to my game and I believe, under the gaffer, I can do that. I can play anywhere across the front four, but I don't want to be a jack of all trades. I want to play up top, as a striker where I played for the first two or three years of my career. I'm approaching what should be my prime and I want to be making the striker position my own and putting in performances week-in, week-out." Aside from his personal ambitions, Alessandra is keen to improve Argyle's fortunes. He said: "I really want to kick-on now and help Plymouth challenge for the league this season. Hopefully, under good guidance and with the two or three new players the manager has said he wants to sign, they will do well. If you're a good and fit side who keep picking up points and can make Home Park a fortress, I'm quietly confident we will be one of the teams at the right end of the table." Alessandra was given his first-team debut by Sheridan at Oldham in 2007 and also said the lure of playing for a 'massive club' with a larger fan base like Argyle's was an equally telling factor in his move. He had been offered a chance to stay with Morecambe, but chose to move to Home Park. "Morecambe did offer me a contract but as soon as I heard there was interest from Plymouth I was immediately interested," he added. "It's no secret this is one of the biggest clubs in the league. And I've worked with the manager before. We know each other and what we're about. So, once it was confirmed there was interest, my mind was made up. I want to be playing at a bigger club and, hopefully, I can help Argyle be at the right end of the table this season. This is a massive club and has that great fanbase."
John Sheridan has repeated his interest in adding Jason Banton to his Argyle squad for the upcoming season. "I like Jason Banton, everyone knows I do. He played a big part in us staying in the League last year. But he's a Crystal Palace player so I don't get involved too much." Sheridan was overseeing the first day of pre-season training in the grounds of the University of St Mark and St John yesterday, with his new staff, Gary Owers, Sean McCarthy, John Harbin and Rhys Wilmot. Conspicuous by his absence was Onismor Bhasera, who has yet to take up the offer a new contract. "We're till waiting on Baz," said Sheridan. "It's been difficult because we've not heard from him. We're not going to wait all day, obviously, but we've made him a good offer, a very good offer. It's in Baz's court. He's not holding us to ransom or anything like that. But it's 50-50. I won't be moving on the offer and we won't be waiting forever."
John Sheridan has strengthened his Argyle squad this summer, but wants to add more players to his team in the coming days. His latest signings, Lewis Alessandra and Dominic Blizzard, joined the rest of the squad at the start of pre-season training yesterday. Sheridan said: "I'm pleased, so far. I know Lewi from Oldham and he can be an excellent player; he's at an age now where he can push on with his talent. I think we could guide him into becoming a strong player and getting us out this league. Obviously Dom is proven, having played in the first division throughout his career and he has been at some good clubs. I think he's someone who could help us, just being simple and ticking over. That's what I like about him. I'm looking to bring in probably another two or three players if I can get them, and that will make us a lot stronger. I'm in still in the process of making offers to one or two players and hopefully something will come out in the next couple of days, or whenever it has to be. At this moment in time I'm positive that we'll get the players sooner, rather than later. I'm after a striker. Everyone knows what I'm after, a left-winger, a striker and possibly a left-back, so there's no hiding it. We've got people here who can play in those positions and I'm looking to have a very strong squad. They're the positions I have identified and I would like to bring in and fill in the gaps that need filling."
Argyle have confirmed the signing of Dominic Blizzard, on a two-year contract. Blizzard will officially sign the deal on July 1st.
Paris Cowan-Hall left Argyle yesterday, reportedly on a free transfer, to join Wycombe Wanderers.
John Sheridan has finalised his Argyle back-room staff. Former Argyle striker Sean McCarthy has returned to the club as first-team coach, John Harbin will be the Performance Manager, and the managers brother Darren Sheridan will act as Chief Scout. All three will work alongside current assistant Gary Owers. Sheridan said: "I am very pleased to get my backroom staff sorted out. There is a lot of very valuable experience there, people who have played at the highest level and have coached at the highest level. We are now well set up to be able to get the best out of the players." Rhys Wilmot will work with first-team goalkeepers Jake Cole and Luke McCormick.
Argyle have still not heard from Onismor Bhasera, according to newspaper reports. Under Football League rules, Argyle's contract offer expired on June 1st, but John Sheridan spoke to Bhasera's agent after that deadline and said the club would be willing, in principle, to extend the offer, but he has had no contact since.
Argyle are reported to be close to two new signings, with midfielder Dominic Blizzard expected to be one of them. Blizzard was released by Yeovil Town earlier this month. Meanwhile, Paris Cowan-Hall has been linked with a move to Wycombe Wanderers.
Rene Gilmartin has had his contract with Argyle cancelled and has left the club by mutual consent.
John Harbin has joined John Sheridan's back-room staff at Argyle, signing a three-year contract. Harbin has previously worked as a fitness coach and a sports psychologist at Oldham Athletic, Crystal Palace, Charlton Athletic, Queen's Park Rangers and Coventry City.
Tyler Harvey has signed his first professional contract with Argyle. John Sheridan said: "I've got a lot of time for him. From what I've seen of him in training, he's got some really good qualities in his game. He's made that little step up, he trains with the first team and, even in training, he needs to score more goals. This year will do him the world of good and, with a good pre-season in him, next year, he'll be pushing for a place."
Isaac Vassell has signed a new contract which will keep him at Home Park for the 2013/14 season.
Gary Owers does not expect any team to run away with the League Two title next season. Portsmouth are firm favourites with the bookmakers, with Chesterfield, Fleetwood Town and Bristol Rovers expected to be among the challengers, but Owers said: "It's going to be very close, as it was last season. All the divisions seem to be getting more and more competitive. We won eight and drew four out of 19 games at the end of last season and only avoided relegation by one point. That shows you just how competitive it was. I wouldn't expect any team to run away with the division this season."
Reuben Reid has returned to Home Park, signing on a season-long loan deal from Yeovil Town. "John Sheridan is one of the main reasons why I signed," he said. "I enjoyed playing for him and I really think he can get the best out of me. When I heard there was interest, I didn't hesitate and everything happened pretty quickly. I just can't wait to get back now. The football environment at Argyle is another reason for coming back, the staff, the lads, the club itself were all reasons why I wanted to return." Reid believes that Argyle are now well positioned to kick on from their improvement during the second half of last season. He said: "It is looking good. I hope we can get a good squad together and really push on and achieve things."
Argyle's League Two fixtures were released this morning, and the team will kick off the new season with a game at Southend United on August 3rd. The first home game comes a week later, against Fleetwood Town and the campaign will end with a Dockyard Derby away to Portsmouth on May 3rd. Other highlights include a home New Year's Day derby game against Torquay United, after a visit to Plainmoor on November 26th. Argyle play Exeter City at St James' Park on October 5th, with the return at Home Park on March 25th. The full fixture list is available on the club website.
Gary Owers is relishing the responsibility of being Argyle's first team coach. He said: "I enjoy the role and it's something I'm familiar with. I was the assistant manager at Aldershot when we got into the League Two play-offs and I coached the first team at Bristol City. I'm delighted that I was able to help John last season and we ended up staying in the League. When John took over, he gave me a big amount of responsibility and I will get that responsibility again next season. It's something I relish. I played against John over the years and met him a couple of times through mutual friends. Over the last six months we have developed a good working relationship. John knows what I'm good at and I know when to keep out the way because he's the boss and has the final say on everything. I will always be thankful to Kevin Hodges for bringing me to the club in the first place. I enjoyed working with the young lads."
Argyle have signed two new players for next season, Luke McCormick and Lewis Alessandra, and more signings are set to follow, with the start of pre-season only a week away. Gary Owers said: "My phone has been ringing more this week than for the last two or three weeks. Everyone is back behind their desks after the summer break and players are returning from holidays." The future of Onismor Bhasera has still to be resolved however, and Owers added: "Bas is out of the country and we might have to be a little bit patient. There is an offer there for him. If he doesn't take it we will look elsewhere."
Gary Owers expects the Argyle players to be in good physical condition when they report for the start of pre-season training next Wednesday. Argyle are set to announce the appointment of a new fitness coach who will work closely with the players, however, Owers explained all of the squad had been given an off-season training programme to adhere to. He said: "It will be a well-thought out pre-season and it will be tough. It's all about preparing us for the long season ahead, not just the first league game. We want to be as fit and as strong as we can. Then, when the balls come out, we will work hard on that as well. The lads know how we work from the end of last season and they have all had an off-season training programme. It's up to them. They know they can edge ahead in the fight for a first team place by being in the best possible shape. Pre-season isn't for getting fit any more. Players come back fit and raring to go. Then it's about us topping that up." Meanwhile, Argyle's League Two fixtures will be released tomorrow and reports suggest the club are hoping to play their home Devon derbies against Exeter City and Torquay United early in the campaign. That is because work on a new grandstand could start in late September, subject to planning permission from Plymouth City Council. Argyle would ideally like to play Exeter and Torquay, and possibly Portsmouth, before the stadium is reduced to three sides and capacity is cut.
Argyle have been drawn away to Birmingham City in the first round of the League Cup. The tie will be played during the week beginning August 5th.
John Sheridan is still awaiting a response from Onismor Bhasera over the club's contract offer. Sheridan said: "The ball is in Baz's court at the moment. We've made him a very good offer and, hopefully, he will accept it, but it's 50/50 over whether he will or not." Argyle's players are scheduled to return for pre-season training on June 26th and Sheridan is confident friendlies arranged with local non-league sides and home games with Yeovil Town and MK Dons are the right mix. He said: "The purpose of pre-season friendlies is to test the level fitness of the players before any new campaign starts and let the fans see the new signings in action. So, we'll be visiting local clubs like Elburton Villa and then have Milton Keynes Dons and Yeovil at Home Park. Milton Keynes are a good League One club and will provide solid opposition for us as will Yeovil."
John Sheridan has issued a 'hands-off' warning over Argyle's promising youngsters. Sheridan claimed speculation in the media that the club would cash in on talent like Tyler Harvey was 'incorrect'. He said: "I've not received offers for any of my players, youth or otherwise. End of story. I don't know where these stories come from. We've had no offers and frankly I wouldn't welcome one. Tyler has just signed a, what we consider to be, very good deal with us and he is happy. So are we. I want our younger players to be fighting for a place in the first team. They've every right to expect that under my management, and that's what I'm going to give them. I want to improve the quality of our squad. That is why I signed an intelligent player like Lewis Alessandra. I will be bringing in one or two attack-minded players like Lewis, while I also want to keep the players I like we already have at the club." While Sheridan refused to comment on Reuben Reid possibly joining Argyle on a season-long loan, he was unequivocal in denying any interest in former Northampton Town forward Adebayo Akinfenwa, now a free agent. "I've no interest in Akinfenwa at all," he added.
Guy Branston believes he has at least two more playing years left in him, and hopes to spend them at Home Park. Branston recently signed a new one-year deal with Argyle and said he had tried for a two-year contract with the club, but had signed the deal he was offered instantly. He said: "I want to stay down here, there is no intention of me leaving. I want to play as long as possible and I didn't sign to relax, I signed to be successful. I know what I want to do when I stop playing and that's be a football manager. Before that, I want to keep playing for as long as possible. I love being in the South West. I spoke to the gaffer and told him I wanted a two-year deal, because I believe I've got another two years left in me. But after a few minor things were sorted out, I signed the new contract instantly. The money was immaterial, I wanted to secure my future with a football club which is going to kick on." Branston said he believed Sheridan was the right man to bring success to Home Park. He said: "The gaffer knows what it's like to be a player, knows how to win and wants to play attractive football. From what I know of the gaffer and the chairman, I want to be part of the football club because there's no doubt in my mind that it can kick on. Another thing is the fans, who are amazing. You won't get many clubs who take 3,000 with them up to Rochdale on the last day of the season." Branston is focussed on getting himself ready for the new season, and added: "I am always excited about the new season, it's like going back to school. The pre-season can be the start of something special and I think it's going to be an exciting season."
Neil Warnock has thrown his weight behind Argyle boss John Sheridan. Warnock, who has already had talks with James Brent and Sheridan offering to help them bring success to Argyle again, said: "I keep in touch with both James and John and have told them, 'If I can do anything to help Argyle, then I will do'. Like them, I want Argyle to be successful again and believe they will be."
Transfer-listed Nick Chadwick has vowed to give his all to the Argyle cause, but is not convinced he will be leading the line next season. Chadwick has one year left on his deal and insisted he would like nothing better than to see out his contract, but thinks that is unlikely to happen unless John Sheridan has a change of heart during pre-season. He said: "I'd love nothing better than to stay in Plymouth, but the gaffer told me honestly that I didn't fit in with his plans for the future. That's fair enough, it's only right he should pick his own team and not the one he's inherited. But, given the chance to prove myself, I'll give the gaffer, and the club, 100 per cent in 2013-14. I didn't help myself, particularly when I get a six-match ban just as the new manager takes over. That was my own fault. I've held my hand up to it and for my form last year. I had a good start. My form was good when I rejoined Argyle the previous year. It's just last season that my performances dipped. Everybody knows how much I care about Argyle, I love the club and the area and so do my family. I wouldn't have uprooted them if we didn't. I'm looking to the future and still feel I can do a good job for Plymouth, if I'm given the chance."
Argyle have confirmed that Morecambe winger Lewis Alessandra is the club's second signing of the Summer following Luke McCormick's return to Home Park. Alessandra was offered the opportunity to stay with Morecambe but instead chose to re-unite with John Sheridan with whom he had previously worked with at the start of his career with Oldham. He will sign on a Bosman transfer and will officially begin a two year contract with Argyle on July 1st. His versatility is such that he can play in a number of different wide and forward roles but Sheridan hinted that he may be primarily used as a striker.Sheridan said: "I'm very pleased to have signed him; I think he's at a good age and he can be a really good player for us. When he first came on the scene I thought that potentially he could play at a really high level but he took a bit of a backward step when he was at Oldham. Fair play to him, though, he went to Morecambe and sorted himself out and for the last two seasons, he's probably been Morecambe's most consistent player. He's got a lot of things to his game - he can play on the wing and anywhere across the so-called front four - but I like to see him up front. He reminds me of Jack Lester, who was at Chesterfield. I think he's got the attributes to be that kind of player and I think I can get the best out of him and get him to score goals." Morecambe manager Jim Bentley was disappointed to lose Alessandra, saying: "Lewis has done really well for us over the past two years and I am obviously hugely disappointed to lose him. We had a chat a few weeks ago and he said he intended to sign on again but has since had a change of heart with another club coming in for him."
Argyle have announced that First European Securities are to be the Back-of-shirt sponsor for their 2013/14 home and away strips. FES are already associated with Argyle through recent schemes such as sponsorship of the Devonport End and the provision of supporters coaches for the crucial match at Burton Albion last season. Argyle also thanked Specialist Vehicles, who have been the Back-of-shirt Sponsor for the past two seasons.
Argyle today unveiled their new home and away kits for the upcoming 2013/14 season. The home shirt will remain in the traditional dark green and in the design voted for by fans last year. The away kit takes a diversion away from tradition with a light blue coloured shirt. It has also been confirmed that WH Bond & Sons will remain Argyle's primary shirt sponsor for the coming season.
The two home fixtures in the pre-season friendly schedule have been confirmed to be against Milton Keynes Dons on Sunday 21st July and against Yeovil Town the following Saturday 27th July. The club's full pre-season schedule has now been confirmed. The club will start pre-season with an away match at Elburton Villa on Tuesday July 9th. This will be followed by away matches against Tiverton Town and Bath City on Saturday July 13th and Tuesday July 16th respectively and will be rounded off with these two home matches.
Reuben Reid looks set to return to Argyle on a season-long loan from Yeovil Town. Yeovil manager Gary Johnson said: "Both Plymouth and Reuben are looking to carry on the agreement that was in place at the end of last season. They are looking to extend their association."
Andres Gurrieri has agreed in principle to sign a new contract with Argyle. The deal should be concluded when he returns to this country after his recent marriage. The club are still waiting to find out whether Onismor Bhasera will accept the new deal he has been offered.
Argyle are set to play pre-season games at Home Park on Sunday, July 21st and Saturday, July 27th, with the opposition still to be confirmed. Another away friendly has been arranged, at Bath City on Tuesday, July 16th at 7.45pm.
Argyle have lined up seven development squad pre-season away games, starting against Torpoint Athletic on July 10th. That will be followed by fixtures at Callington Town on July 15th, Truro City on July 17th, Saltash United on July 20th, Bideford on July 22nd and Tavistock on July 26th before concluding with a trip to Clevedon Town on July 30th.
Argyle will play at Elburton Villa and Tiverton Town in their first two pre-season friendlies of the new season. They will play Villa at Haye Road on Tuesday July 9th, at 7.30pm. The team then take on Tiverton at Ladysmead on Saturday, July 13th at 3pm. Further pre-season games are to be announced, with John Sheridan hoping to have two of them played at Home Park.
Argyle are set to announce the appointment of a new chief executive by the end of June, James Brent has confirmed. The club have agreed terms with someone currently working for another club at a higher level, and Brent said: "We are hoping to announce the appointment by the end of June. Terms have been agreed. There are several parts to the role of chief executive. One is to provide day-to-day leadership at the club and another is to focus on our ambition to become a sustainable club which can progress back up the leagues. In terms of doing that, we feel that in John Sheridan and Jason Turner we have good leadership on the football side. Much of the focus of the new chief executive will, I suspect, be on generating non-matchday revenue. Clearly quite a large part of his time will be spent on making sure we get the most out of the new grandstand. The person we have chosen is coming from a higher league club. The reason he is coming is because he sees the potential for Argyle to be a club performing at a much higher level than it currently is."
James Brent has insisted Argyle have no plans to sell Tyler Harvey, after newspaper reports stated that Cardiff City have made a bid for the striker. An Argyle spokesman denied that any bid had been received, and Brent said: "We are not looking to sell Tyler because we see an exciting future both for him and us by being part of our squad."
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