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.
The club captain of the 2018/19 season has signed a new contract at Home Park: Gary Sawyer revealed he had put pen to paper on a contract for another year at the club. Having made 249 appearances for the greens, Sawyer will no doubt hope to use the forthcoming season to push up the all time appearances list.
Argyle have extended the early-bird period in which to buy a discounted season-ticket for 2019-20 into next Monday's Bank Holiday. This week's connectivity issues at the Home Park Ticket Office meant that, unfortunately, a number of supporters made a wasted journey to buy their ticket for the Pilgrims' new EFL campaign. To help them, and because of continued high demand for season-tickets, the club are confirmed they have extended the early-bird deadline beyond the Wednesday, May 22nd cut-off to Monday, May 27th.
Argyle have announced four pre-season away games for July, as well as confirming a training camp in the Netherlands. Argyle's first pre-season game will be against Truro City at Treyew Road on Tuesday, July 9th. Argyle's second pre-season game will be against Western League Premier Division runners-up Plymouth Parkway at Bolitho Park on Saturday, July 13th. That will be followed by a trip to play Gary Johnson's National League South champions Torquay United at Plainmoor on Tuesday, July 16th. Argyle will hold a Dutch pre-season training camp in Delden for the fourth successive year from July 21-26th. They are expected to play pre-season games at Home Park on Saturday, July 20 and Saturday, July 27 but there has been no confirmation of that yet. The Pilgrims' final warm-up match will be away to Tavistock at Langsford Park on Tuesday, July 30th.
Luke Jephcott has admitted he owes a debt to ex-manager Derek Adams as he reflects on being awarded the club's player of the season accolade. He went to to speak about his hopes of starting afresh under a new manager: "I'm very grateful to him because he gave me my professional debut and I have got a lot of respect for him. He had the trust in me to play me in games, and obviously with a new manager coming in I think everyone wants to get their heads down and be in his thoughts. It's starting from scratch. Hopefully you can make a good impression and then push on. It's a new face and someone I get to impress, and all the other lads get to impress. We have just got to work hard and show what we are capable of doing. I wasn't expecting to win it and I'm thankful to everyone that did vote for me. Personally, it was a good season but overall as a club it wasn't the ending that we hoped for. We need the team back up where we should be."
"It has been good for me. I'm hoping next season to get involved with the Wales 21s and get more minutes under my belt here with the first team. If you can run faster, harder and be stronger than the other team then the technical stuff will take care of itself. I'm sure whichever players come in, we will get a good squad together. I'm confident we can get back up."
Amidst a series of comments. Andrew Parkinson also confirmed why Argyle announced their released/retained list immediately after relegation to League Two, rather than wait for a new manager. He said: "Obviously, we got football input. The first team coach had input. Also, there isn't just an end-of-season approach to it, so there was input from various people throughout the course of the season. You don't make a plan right at the end. So it was done on that basis in terms of an overall viewpoint. I think there is a good balance between having a retained list but giving a new manager the flexibility to add to it. It will be down to them how do they influence that."
"It's a really careful balance. You don't want to be in a position where you have got to have a completely new team and completely new set-up. When players are really committed to Argyle that goes a huge way to being successful on the pitch. Equally, you want to freshen things up as well. You don't want to have everybody out and you don't want to have everybody in. Hopefully, I think we have got the right balance.
Parkinson went on to add that Argyle hadn't given up hope of Ruben Lameiras and Graham Carey accepting deals to stay at the club: "I would say there is a good chance, but I don't know. What happens is, you make an offer and then people tend to go on holidays and they go and think about things. The way the world is, in a few weeks' time it will become more evident, but we are pretty hopeful. We are a team. Our best players we would want to keep but we are also mindful of making sure the squad is right as well. We want to retain those players and we will see where it goes."
Amidst some calls for Argyle to cut the prices of their season-tickets after their relegation to League Two, new Chief Executive Andrew Parkinson revealed that they will not be doing so and reasoned as to why. He said: "Season ticket sales have held up really well. In fact, we are absolutely on a par with last year. In fact, I actually think we will probably sell more this year. People do buy into the fact there are things to look ahead to for next season. Of course it was considered but we are not going to do that at this stage. I think we look at season tickets as being good value for money overall. The vast majority of our season tickets are actually concessions. If you look at our Early Bird prices, you are talking under £20 for a game. We have got other levels for under-eights, under-12, and we have got season tickets for people serving in the Armed Forces and over-65s. I think it represents a good opportunity for most people. Over and above that, I think the facilities at Argyle, when you compare them to most of the clubs that we would see in League One and League Two, are far superior.
"You have got the chance to get cup tickets, the chance to get away tickets and you have also got discount on retail. Of course, we absolutely get the fact that people can make choices, and so they should. We did consider that but I think overall we would say that it represents good value for money. I could understand some of those thoughts. But when you think about it on the price per game, and what you get versus other clubs, then I think you could say it would be good value for money. I think what we do have for the future, in terms of looking at facilities for fans, will add to that. We have got a lot to do on making the match-day experience a better one, but the recognition of having the Gold Award for families shows that we are on the right track."
Parkinson went on to add that it was not just results but the ability to embrace on off field ethos that factored into Argyle's search for a new manager, explaining: "We have to take account of a number of different things. First and foremost, it's about results on the pitch and who is going to give us the best chance of doing that, but there are other aspects to that. Argyle is a unique club. We want to play in a certain way and we want the person to embrace Argyle, its ethos and its values. We want them to be very much part of the community. We want them to embrace the fact that it's not just about the first team. It's about the ladies' team, it's about all our academy. It's about everything in that respect. We have got to think about commercial partners, all of those different things. It's important that we get the right person, and people see we are getting that right person. "I can say that we are exactly where we want to be in that process. We have got a really rigorous process put in place. We have to act swiftly, but the most important thing is to get the right person. I think we are absolutely on course to do that and as soon as we are in a position to be able to say who that is then we will tell the fans. That is foremost in our minds, to make sure we have got the right person but to do it in a very quick way too."
"I think they would also want us to get the right person too. They would also want us to have considered different people as well. As with anything, different people have different ideas about who that person should be. The other important thing is to recognise the fact, and I can say this, that we have had so much interest about being the Argyle manager. It's a great club that people want to be involved. So making an instant decision on who that should be, I don't think would be the right option.
"The right option is to consider those and then think about all the different qualities that we want from that person and to make the right call. As soon as possible. We are very mindful of the fact that we have got players on the retained list and they want to know who they are going to be playing for. The manager will want to be able to make his own additions to the squad and will have a certain style of playing football. We have got pre-season training as well to come up. We recognise the fact that all of those things are really important. I'm not being flippant when I say 'as soon as possible'. But, equally, we don't want to be here again in a short period of time. We are on a journey and we want the right person here, and we can deal with all of those things."
Finally, Parkinson stated that as things stand, Argyle's planned pre-season tour of the Netherlands is still very much on in spite of it being the idea of former manager Derek Adams. Parkinson said: "The new manager may have some different views and we will have to take those into account, but we are still committed to going over to Holland. It's still on, but subject to change. Obviously, we have to be very mindful of that. I completely get that people want to know but, equally, we would want to be in that position where we do absolutely know too. We have still got a number of different options. With the new manager we need to be cognizant of what they want in terms of pre-season. It would be great to have a couple of games up at Home Park as well. It's still very much in our thoughts to do that, but there are a few things to move about too. As soon as we get all those pieces in place we will be able to announce it."
Jordan Bentley revealed his heartbreak at being forced to retire from football due to never quite recovering from a badly broken leg that he suffered in the training ground in January 2018. The youngster said: "I knew in my head for a few months there was something seriously wrong. I would wake up in the morning and I would be in agony and it was starting to affect my day-to-day stuff. I remember playing against Derby in the Under-23s Cup and I went in for a tackle on the halfway line. I won the ball but I just knew, there and then, there was something wrong. I carried on the game but couldn't really move. I knew in my head that was my last game. I just wanted to finish off the 23s.
"I would start off fine but then I would get to the stage where I thought 'I can't do this'. So I ended up playing the last 45 minutes just talking because I couldn't move I went to see the consultant and, while I knew in my head it was done, when someone tells you it's done, I was heartbroken obviously. I knew it was coming but when I got back in the physio's car I just welled up and had a little cry. My dad has always said there are three things that are going to make you leave football. It's either that someone will give up on you, you will get too old or you will retire from injury. Obviously, the latter is the one for me. I'm heartbroken because it's my dream done."
"When I broke my leg it went completely numb. I couldn't feel a thing. According to my consultant, your leg should go numb but you should be able to feel a little bit. I think that's where most of the damage has come from, the nerves in the foot. I can't feel the floor when I'm running. I walk outside and I cannot feel the floor on my bare foot. So that's where I'm at, and I'm in a lot of pain because I have developed patellar tendonitis in my knees. There is a lot of stuff going on, and I just thought 'I can't do this any more'.
"I don't want to go 10 years down the line, have kids growing up and not be able to go out in the garden and play football with them. I was fine up until then. I was doing okay in my first year as a pro, and I was actually getting my form back. Everything was going well but then I broke my leg and it has all gone downhill from there. I could never get back to where I was. I was getting frustrated with myself and saying to my parents 'I can't do this and I can't do that'. I was making myself look really bad because I couldn't do what I used to be able to do."
"If I did that another 20-30 times, I'm jumping out the way of it and he's getting the ball. I think it was because I was young, I was trying to make some sort of impression by scoring a goal. Maybe if I had been 27 or 28, not an 18-year-old, I'm jumping out of that. But, me being me, where I don't like to do that type of stuff, I'm trying my hardest to win the ball. Yes, we scored in the game but my leg has been snapped in half for it. It is what it is. I came back in August and I knew there was a problem around November-time, but I didn't speak to anyone until the end of January. I just wanted to play football. I didn't want to go back into the treatment room for seven months.
"Maybe that's a bit naive from me, but I was out of contract this summer so I needed to prove myself. I want to try and strengthen up my legs now I'm done (with the professional game) and, I'm not going to lie, I will probably go and play for someone. I have been speaking to clubs. That's one training session a week, or no training sessions and two games a week. I can do that. It's the day-to-day, high-intensity stuff, I couldn't do any more. I could be in pain afterwards but I reckon I can get away with it, and obviously the standard is not so high. I want to stay in football, somehow, if that's coaching in the academy or doing something like that. My thing now is to go out and get something under my belt, job-wise. No doubt I will probably get more money than what I was on here at Argyle. I want to get some sort of trade really. I like the idea of being an electrician or a carpenter. I'm going to go and enjoy my summer and then sit down and see what I can do."
"I have been an Argyle fan since I was four or five years old. I'm going to be there. The fans have been really good to me. People have been messaging me saying they are sorry for what has happened and that they thought I had a lot of potential. I have lived my dream. When I was young, I watched Argyle with my dad on the Mayflower Terrace thinking 'I'm going to play here one day'. I have done what I wanted to do. I have got my shirts, people know who I am. I can't complain really."
Ryan Edwards has announced his rejection of the new contract offered to him by Argyle and his intention to move on elsewhere. The defender thanked the Green Army via a tweet. He messaged: "Want to say a huge thanks to @Only1Argyle for giving me the chance to play for the club. It's been a crazy 2 year journey for obvious reasons, but what a club to represent!! A massive thank you to everyone involved with the club. You all stood by me when I needed your support most, and that's something what will live with me for the rest of my days. Hopefully we cross paths sometime in the future."
Argyle have offered new contracts to 12 Pilgrims whose current deal expires this summer as they prepare for life in Sky Bet League Two with a new manager. Six have been released, as well as one retirement and decisions made on a number of youth team players. The full list can be found on the club's official website.
Kevin Nancekevill admitted that he is feeling 'as low as you can get' following Argyle's sad relegation to League Two. He credited the team on the day but it was sadly not to be enough. Nancekevill: "I'm feeling as low as you can get. Like the rest of our supporters and all the members of staff and players. We've won the game today, but over the course of the season we haven't done enough to keep ourselves out of the bottom four. Listen, the lads carried it out to the letter, scored early, got ourselves 2-0 up and fought back when it was 2-2 to go and win the game. Like I said, it's not been lost today, it's been lost over the course of the season. I think the boys have all done their part today. Yes we won the game, but it's a very disappointing, sad day."
On Scunthorpe's controversial equaliser, he said: "I'm not going to make a comment on that, I'll leave that to Scunthorpe. All I'll say is that the boys responded terrifically well to go back up the other end and score a great goal to win the game. I haven't got anything else to say on it. We knew, obviously there was a mobile phone in the dugout. Obviously the fans as well, sometimes that message is quicker than when it gets to us in the dugout. They're a good bunch of lads, they've done everything that we could have expected of them today – unfortunately that wasn't enough."
"It's a huge setback, there's no point in me saying it's not. We've fought so hard to get back to League One after the dark days of administration, and second season back up we've failed to stay there. We go back to League Two, it is a massive setback, but, the fans are superb, they'll stay with us, the new grandstand is coming back up. We've got to dust ourselves down and come back stronger. Of course they're hurting, they travel thousands of miles all season and pay good money to watch us play, and we haven't done enough to reward them with another season in League One. Knowing them, they'll stick with us, and after a period of mourning we have to dust ourselves down. A new manager has got a lot to be excited about at this football club."
"We've had bigger setbacks. The last seven or eight years we've had real heartbreak with administration, etc. We've come back from that; we've come back strong. There's no doubt we'll come back stronger again next season, and the seasons beyond that. The new grandstand is going up, so there's lots to be positive about once we've got over this disappointment. The board of directors and the chairman will pursue a new manager, which is the right thing to do, and the club will come again."
Scunthorpe Chairman Peter Swann has apologised to Argyle on behalf of his club for the incident on Saturday that saw Josh Morris equalise when Matt Macey had tried to throw the ball out to get treatment. Swann said: "We didn't respond as well as we should have done as a football club in a sporting manner. I need to speak to the manager, the captain and the rest of the coaches to find out what was in their minds. We have been a very honest and hard-working club for the last five or six seasons while I have been here and I would like to think we play fair football. That was really disappointing. It was one part of a game that, if you were neutral, was a great game. Sitting up there, it wasn't, it was hard to watch. Andy the manager is only young and it is a huge decision to make, but there are enough people there to make the right decision. This was the worst scenario for me. Plymouth are a good side and I was born here. I know what they are doing here is magnificent. They have come a long way and the support is amazing here. They have done everything they can to win the match and they have won the match. When you do that and not survive, it is even harder to take. I will stand here and apologise. It has been a terrible season for us, we have been riddled with injuries and struggled to get a rhythm at all. I am really disappointed Plymouth have gone down as well."
Argyle have been relegated to League Two after last day heartbreak saw Home Park left devestated. Argyle did the job on the day- goals from Lloyd Jones and Freddie Ladapo saw the greens race into a two goal lead. Scunthorpe got one back shortly before half-time and went on to equalise in the most controversial of circumstances. Matt Macey went down injured and tried to throw the ball out to receive treatment before Scunthorpe's Josh Morris latched onto the loose ball and slotted into the net past and injured Macey, much to the displeasure of the Green Army. Mike Cooper came on for the injured loanee and Argyle regained the lead via Graham Carey. With Sunderland drawing at Southend, Argyle looked set to survive. A late Southend winner however kept the shrimpers in League One at Argyle's expense.
Creative midfielder Ruben Lameiras has won the Pilgrims' Player of the Season award, decided by the Green Army. The Portuguese playmaker was the stand-out candidate in the voting, polling more than half of all the votes at 51.4%. Luke Jephcott dominated the Young Player of the Season polling, amassing almost two thirds of total votes cast at 63.2%.
David Fox looked ahead to Saturday's game against Scunthorpe with a sense of determination to put things right after the dire season Argyle have had and went on to talk about his feelings regarding the departure of manager Derek Adams. Fox said: "There are a lot of lads out of contract, so I'm sure it'll be the last game for a few of the boys, that is always in the back of your mind. I don't want to go out on a sombre note. If it is to be my last game here, it is definitely not how I want to remember my time here. I have loved my time here. The club doesn't deserve to be going through the last few months that it has been through. Obviously, we want to win the game on Saturday. Ultimately, whatever level you manage at, you are going to be judged by your results. He wanted to be involved in everything; he was busy and worked very hard. He was always trying to improve the club and take it forward. I hope we put in a good performance, get the right result, and things go well elsewhere for us. Everyone knows what's at stake; we know what we need to do. We know our job in terms of the result we need. That's about it, it's as important as any other and we have unfortunately got ourselves into a position where it comes down to one game. We are still in with a shout, we have to take everything we have and make sure we leave it on the pitch on Saturday. It's never easy when you are relying on other people. We know we have to do a job, we have known for six, seven, eight weeks that we have a job to do and we haven't done that. You can't keep looking at other things; we haven't been good enough in the last few weeks. We're in a situation where it's not on us. It's no different on Saturday because we need to win and we have not done that for long enough. It's all about us, first and foremost, we have to get the win ourselves."
Amid speculation on Saturday's team selection, Kevin Nancekevill has said he will not seek to reinvent the wheel but will instead trust what he believes is a team and squad capable of getting the right result. He insisted: "The squad is what the squad is. We've got a squad of good players, which isn't reflected in our league position, I really believe that. There's not going to be massive changes, because I trust in these players to get us out of the position we're in. It's about the players, it's not about any individual, it's just making sure that their minds are clear and positive. The support we've had around the football club has been fantastic, from in and around the city, the supporters have been superb as well. They're in a good place, and we can bring that to show on Saturday."
He added: "What I've learnt this week is that they're totally behind everything that the club wants to do, and they're committed to getting the result on Saturday. I know that come 5:30pm they'll be ready to go. You're going to see a team full of passion, energy and enthusiasm. We're going to go right for it, hopefully all the way through. They're good human beings that really care about this football club, and they've been hurting. They're desperate to put right everything that's gone wrong this season. It's about how we prepare and go about our job on the day. The lads are bright, they're sharp, they're fit. We're getting in a positive frame of mind, getting the lads to believe in themselves – they're good players. Go and make the club proud, make their families proud, and that will be more than enough."
To the Green Army, he added: "Thank you ever so much for sticking with us this season. It's been a difficult time, but we need you for one more massive big effort. We need you to stay with us from the first minute to the final whistle. I can promise you that the boys will be running their heart out for that duration. The supporters have been with us all season. They've travelled miles and miles and miles. Stick with us, there's going to be moments that aren't going our way, and those are the moments we need the supporters to shout and sing even louder, and I'm sure they'll do that. When they do that, I'll make sure that the players run even harder and faster. I'm proud and honoured to be asked to look after the club on such a big occasion, and hopefully we don't let anybody down. We all share the responsibility - the support I've had from everybody in the football club has been fantastic and I'm sure that will make us stronger come Saturday. It means a lot to everybody, it's not just myself. It's important for the club that we stay in League One."
The final word ahead of the game went to local boy Lloyd Jones who stated his determination to play well under pressure: "I think pressure brings the best out in me. I'm probably someone who plays better with pressure. When there's something not on the game, it doesn't mean as much sometimes. Everyone grows up and dreams of playing in big occasions, big games. This is another on Saturday and hopefully it goes our way. I'll be ready to go. There is a lot riding on it as to what league we'll be in next year, so I can't wait."
Kevin Nancekevill made 6 appearances for the Greens when he signed from Tiverton in 2000 and he could never have known he'd be managing them on an interim basis for one of their biggest games of all time nineteen years later- but Nancekevill said it's a club that always sticks in the heart: "I made six sub appearances, I was late coming into it, and took my time getting into it. By the time I did get going, I soon stopped. I made the best of what I had, I wasn't great at it, but was proud to play for Plymouth Argyle, proud to have coached at every level here, and I'm really proud to be taking the team into the last game. As any ex-player will tell you, once you've been involved with Plymouth Argyle it stays with you a long, long time. It is a unique, special football club. You'll see that on Saturday, the amount of support we've got, and the feeling towards us staying up. I love the football club, like everybody else, and I hope that will come across at the weekend. We are a unique club, and that'll show on Saturday – the strength of feeling towards Plymouth Argyle. It's a sell-out, which can only help us, and that will push the players even further, I'm sure. I'm not a manager, so what you see is what you get with me. I'm helping the club out this week in that role, but I'm a tracksuit man. You be yourself. Unfortunately, when Carl Fletcher lost his job back in 2013, we had one game with Port Vale. That's an experience that will stand me in good stead, hopefully. I think you just try and be yourself. Obviously you can't change too much, because you've got one week and one game. The players know what's required – you try and put your ideas across in a different way, maybe – but they're good to go and I have no doubt that we'll come out to a roaring crowd. I think it's really important that we do stand together. We've got one game left to secure our future in League One, and we need everyone pulling together. We need the supporters, staff and the players, for 96, 97 minutes, however long it takes, to stay with us."
Nancekevill also revealed that Rhys Willmott, currently goalkeeping coach will be his acting assistant during the lead-up to the game. The caretaker manager said: "Rhys has been a fantastic help. His experience has come to the fore this week for us. He's a calming influence on the sideline and together we will hopefully make the right decisions to get the club in League One next season. What you see is what you get with me. I'm definitely not a manager. I'm helping out the football club this week in that role but I'm a tracksuit man. You be yourself and hopefully that is what's required."
Local boy Lloyd Jones looks likely to be the only Plymouthian starting in the game and he spoke similarly about the imprint the club leaves on the heart: "It means a lot to me, I'm from Plymouth, I used to have a season ticket here. I used to stand in the main stand, the likes of Paul Wotton played when we were in the Championship and it was really good to watch. It is big, the biggest game in my career so far. I know Kev has done for years, so Saturday will be big for him. In the back of my mind, I'll be wanting to do it for him as well," said the defender. I would say he has probably been one of the biggest influences on my career. When I've been down, he's kept me up and when I've been up, he's kept me on neutral. He has been massive for me. It's a really important game, as it decides what league we're in next year. We are obviously going out to win it, so will Scunthorpe and that adds a bit of spice to the game. We obviously can't control other results, so Saturday is massive."
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