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.
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Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.
David Norris insists Ian Holloway's appointment as Argyle manager will help persuade him to stay at the club. He said: "We are still talking now. At the time I didn't want to commit until, obviously, I found out about the management situation, so I was happy just to wait until that was sorted out. But the manager is here now and I had a chat with him on Wednesday, and things seem fine - so hopefully it is just a matter of time now. I am happy to stay. I have no problem with the manager who has come in - I have no problems on that side of things. It is just simply a case of sorting out the bits and bobs." With the managerial situation now sorted out, Norris would like to see the club make some moves in the transfer market, and feels if Argyle can attract two or three bodies, it would provide a tonic for the club ahead of the season. "It was vital the new manager came in before pre-season," said Norris. "Even him just coming in has given everybody a little bit of a lift. Things are starting to get back to how they should be. The big thing now is we need a few new players because we have got a small squad and we are short in a few areas. I am hoping to see a bit of investment in the team, which is going to be vitally important for this season. Hopefully the board can help the manager do that and we can look at an improvement on last season. If we could get two or three new players into the club, it would be such a lift for everyone connected with Plymouth Argyle." Argyle's players returned to pre-season training yesterday for their first session with Holloway. Although there were only two sessions - morning and afternoon - for the players to get used to their new manager's methods, Norris for one was impressed with what he saw. "He is infectious, he is non-stop and his enthusiasm is really good," he said. "I am sure once we get more used to that we are going to enjoy it. The sessions weren't too strenuous. There was just a little bit of running and some ball work as well - which is always nice for a first day as you don't always expect that. We are obviously adjusting to him and his methods and he is just finding out what the players are all about. But from early indications I am sure the boys are going to enjoy working under him."
Ian Holloway intends to waste no time in trying to add fresh faces to the squad he has inherited at Argyle. He said: "You have got some great people at the club and I want to add to them. I want to make them believe we can make that next step. That's what I want to do, and I have got to make sure I get that balance right. I will be making all sorts of phone calls to all sorts of managers. I will be looking at the list of players who are on frees, but whether you will find that many good ones on there now, I doubt it. I will also be ringing all the people I know in the game to see if they can point some players my way, but I don't feel we need that much." Strikers are an obvious area of need, with Nick Chadwick the only experienced forward at the club. One player already linked with the Argyle is QPR striker Stefan Moore, who was signed by Holloway from Aston Villa last summer. One forward Holloway would have liked at Home Park was Mickey Evans,and he said: "For me, on a personal note, I want to thank Mickey Evans for what he did for this wonderful club. I took him to Bristol Rovers and it didn't quite work out there because I was sacked quite quickly. Mick decided to come back here and you very cleverly got him. I don't think you would have achieved half the things you did without that young fella. I would like to say 'well done' to him. I'm sad to have lost him, but it's important people like that get a mention."
Junior Agogo could become Ian Holloway's first signing as new Argyle manager. Reports suggest the Bristol Rovers striker is set for talks with the club on Monday. Agogo, who began his career at Queens Park Rangers under Holloway, has a clause in his contract allowing him to speak to other clubs if Rovers receive an offer more than a certain undisclosed figure, believed to be around £250,000. Holloway confirmed he is on the hunt for new players but distanced himself from making an approach for Agogo. "I am not interested in taking Junior Agogo and I don't know where it has come from - it's not true," he said. "There will be new players, but not at the moment. I can't think straight. I need to sit down and talk about other things and who I am going to bring."
Ian Holloway expressed his disappointment at Bojan Djordjic's and Lilian Nalis' failure to attend Argyle's first pre-season training session yesterday. Holloway said: "The session went fine, but we have got one or two problems. I haven't seen two players yet - they aren't even here - and we will deal with that. One of them, Nalis, has had a problem with his luggage and a flight. It is a bit disappointing. I am committed, I am here. And Bojan has been ill and he can't fly because he has been ill. But he should have flown back before he got ill. I don't want to get off on the wrong footing, but my lads deserved them to be back yesterday and everybody is allowed to make one mistake with me." Nick Chadwick and Akos Buzsaky were both unable to train with the rest of the group. Chadwick, a supporting cast on his right leg, was restricted to sit-ups, press-ups and stretching exercises. While Buzsaky was able to perform running tasks, he was prevented from kicking a ball. "Nick has a little Achilles problem, but we are going to take his pot off in the next couple of days," said Holloway. "That was just a precaution as he is determined to get back as soon as possible and there is a risk he can do some damage because he is an honest boy who wants to get on. We don't think it is anything like serious at the moment, but they can be nasty if you get any inflammation in the sheaf, which we don't want." Buzsaky, who missed part of last season with a persistent pelvic injury, has had an operation during the summer to resolve the problem - without the knowledge of the Argyle coaching or medical staff. Holloway added: "He has come in and surprised absolutely everybody. He has had a groin operation and he is 75 per cent fit of where he should be right now, so he isn't going to be able to start training, which is a bit of a disappointment as I am looking forward to seeing the young fella. But hopefully he should be okay for the start of the season." Despite the limited time with his new group of players, Holloway was delighted to be back involved in the day-to-day routine. "I have probably got on their nerves already shouting and bawling on the first run and shouting good morning to everybody," he said. "It is just marvellous - I feel uplifted. They have got to get to know me. People think I am mad - I am just high on life. When the time is right to be serious I certainly am and the boys know what I want, but I look at things very simply. I believe totally if you are not enjoying yourself then you are not doing very good at what you are doing. I want to choose a job which makes me enjoy myself, even if I get criticised. I know I can't please everybody, but when I come into work, I want to work and I want to enjoy myself. I want to be a ray of sunshine in people's lives and hopefully, once you have met me, you will never forget me. From what I have seen so far, and what I already knew, they are a fantastic group of people who are dogged and determined and when the chips are down they produce. What I need to do is help them do that and improve on that at this level as quickly as I physically can."
Paul Wotton has welcomed the arrival of Ian Holloway at Home Park - and is pleased to be back at work with the rest of his team-mates. He said: "He's a very passionate man and he's very enthusiastic. It's great for him to be back in the game, and he has said he'll do his best for us. We'll do our best for him, and that's all we can ask of each other. It's only his first day at the club, but he seems to have favourable impressions of the place. Everyone can see that. Now it's a case of getting a few players in, which I'm sure he's going to do, and trying to kick-start the season." Wotton hopes that Holloway's appointment will deliver some stability. "It would be nice to know that the manager is going to be here for a while," he said. "Chopping and changing all the time doesn't do anybody any good. It would be good to see some stability, and hopefully Ian will be the man for that." The hard slog of pre-season training is never the most popular time of year for footballers, but Wotton knows that it has to be done. "It's the least favourite time, but it's probably the most important," he added. "If you get a good pre-season under your belt, then it sets you up for the rest of the season. I don't know anyone who enjoys it, but it's just a case of getting on with it and helping each other through it. We'll stick together and we'll get through it - no problems." Wotton has enjoyed his holiday, but he has also kept himself fit since the end of last season. "In the modern game you have to keep yourself ticking over," he said. "Not too much, rest is important as well, but there comes a point when you have to start again. I don't know anyone who comes back having done no fitness work. It's great to be back. There's only so much lounging around you can do! You miss your mates and you miss getting up and doing something every day." Next month Argyle are making their third visit in four years to Austria for a pre-season training camp. Their destination, Styria, should make the trip far more enjoyable than last year's bleak week in Sweden. "We've heard favourable reports from some of the teams that have been there before, and it sounds like a decent place," Wotton said. "I can't say the tours have been too successful in previous seasons, but this time it looks like we're going somewhere that's suitable for a club of our stature. It sounds great, and it's also a fantastic opportunity to go away and boost the team spirit and to get to know the new manager and new players. It will be a good bonding experience, there are good training facilities and I believe we're playing against some decent sides." Argyle have confirmed the dates and venues of the two games they will play in Styria. They will face FC Gratkorn at ATV Irdning's ground, which will also be their training base, on July 19th at 6pm local time. Their second match against Maccabi Petah Tikva on July 22nd is at 5pm at SV Trieben's ground
Paul Stapleton has insisted Paul Sturrock was not offered the chance to become the club's manager for a second time. He said: "The speculation seems to have grown and grown in the last week, which is unbelievable. Paul Sturrock is the manager of Sheffield Wednesday. He has got a year left on his contract and he's a very loyal and honest man. I did speak to Paul, I have got to be honest, but only to ask him what he thought of Ian Holloway and he said 'you have got a good manager there'. The interesting thing is that at the interview, Ian Holloway said 'I really respect your old gaffer, I ring him up for advice'. Paul will probably talk to Ian on a regular basis and I will be pleased about that because I don't want there to be any undercurrent." As things stand, former manager Tony Pulis' backroom staff are all still Argyle employees. Pulis wants to take assistant boss Lindsay Parsons and coaches David Kemp and Mark O'Connor to Stoke City but, so far, no decisions have been made. Stapleton said: "They have all got 12 months left on their contracts with the club. It's up to Ian to evaluate where he is and what he's doing. They will be here for the start of pre-season training and we will take it from there. Managers and their assistants sometimes come as a group and it wouldn't surprise me if Tony Pulis makes some approach, but we have heard nothing yet."
Ian Holloway's appointment as Argyle manager almost collapsed on Monday, Paul Stapleton has revealed. Ian Holloway could not take up any new position until a settlement on his QPR contract was agreed, and that proved to be problematic. It took the intervention of Stapleton to persuade QPR chairman Gianni Paladini to ease the way for Holloway to complete his move to Argyle. Stapleton got to know Paladini at the Football League chairmen's annual meeting in Portugal earlier this month. He said: "Sometimes in life things happen by chance and this is one example of that. Last season we played QPR and we had a cup of tea with the chairman and met his daughter. When Robert Dennerly and I went to Portugal, Mrs Paladini didn't really know anybody and was quite shy but she became part of our party, with our wives. Because of that, Gianni Paladini spoke to us quite a bit. In those two or three days we created a relationship with him so when there was a hiccup over Ian coming, and there was no movement at all, I was able to ring Gianni and see if there were things that could be done. He said because he liked Robert and I, he wanted to get things sorted out and he actually made things move. Without that it would have been very, very difficult indeed, and, therefore, Ian was pleased I was able to do that. We are all interested in our own clubs but, at the end of the day, I explained to Gianni it was silly having two managers on his payroll when just to have one was probably more economical. We had a sticky point on Monday. It was all off then. But Gianni rang me at 8.30am on Tuesday morning and we had a good conversation. I have got to thank Gianni for what he did." Paladini had suspended Holloway after he expressed an interest in talking to Leicester City about their then managerial vacancy. Stapleton said: "I don't know all the ins and outs of that. Ian is probably a bit bitter but he will not ever say that because he's respectful to former employers. We are just pleased it has been sorted out because one of the most pressing things for me and the rest of the board was that we wanted a manager in place by tomorrow morning. We had to put certain deadlines out for things that were dragging on because I didn't want to go into pre-season without a manager." Holloway was interviewed by the Argyle board in Taunton on June 19th, along with Stan Ternent. Stapleton said: "He knew a lot about us as a football club and he understood our geographical situation. He's not going to be a manager who says, 'look at the budget Leeds and Wolves are coming with'. He's going to be a manager who says 'we are Plymouth Argyle, you come down and we will give you a battle'. That came across in the interview. He believes he's a really good manager and he's going to prove that to everybody. He's very positive. He's a genuine person who wants to succeed. We believe he has got contacts in the game and we believe he has already made inquiries about positions we might need to strengthen. We are in the situation where we have got to push this football club on. We have got to get people to come and watch us. If they don't come and watch us then the club will go backwards." Stapleton denied Argyle had spoken to Holloway before officially completed his move to Stoke City on June 14th. He said: "We had a full and frank interview with Ian and it lasted quite a considerable time really. We hadn't spoken to him before then, other than to invite him for an interview, and he was really keen for this job."
Ian Holloway has praised his predecessor Tony Pulis for keeping the club in the Championship last season. Holloway also admitted he was bursting with 'pride and passion' after being appointed by Argyle and was totally committed to the continuing the club's recent progress. He said: "I understand how difficult it is to be a football manager and I think your last manager should be thanked. I want to thank him because when he took over this position you could have gone down, but I'm taking over something which has still got its status as a Championship club. What I want to do, is take on the good work he has done and try to move the club forward. What you see is what you get with me. If you don't like it, I apologise now, but that's just life and I expect that back. I try to keep things simple, and I know Tony is exactly the same. I respect him for that." The scars of Holloway's final months as QPR manager were clearly close to the surface as he reflected on his departure from Loftus Road. He said: "From my point of view, I had a very emotional year. Most managers get a few problems but in my last job I had far too many to talk about. It has made the book I was going to publish about Olly and the Rangers totally unreadable because it wouldn't be believable. To end up sat in my garden as I was, for as long as I was, in the circumstances that happened and being a very proud man, was difficult. But I'm absolutely delighted now to be sat with a group of people who made me believe again. They made me believe in where I want to go, and how I'm going to get there. I don't care how long it takes, I want to work towards making something all shiny and all new and look fantastic. I want to be remembered for that. So it's not just about what we are going to do this year, or next year. I don't care how hard it is, and what anybody else is paying players. It's not about that. We are going to work hard together to bring in the right people to help us get there. I want to be part of it so much it hurts." Holloway met the Argyle squad for the first time when they reported back for pre-season training at Home Park this morning. He said: "You should never look backwards in your life. You should always wake up and look forward to the day, and in recent months I have lost that in my life, and that's awful. I have got it back now and I can't wait to get started. Hopefully, that will rub off on a few people."
Ian Holloway has the reputation of being one of football's funny men and the quips were soon flying around when he was appointed Argyle's new manager yesterday. Holloway was introduced to the local media in the boardroom at Home Park. He was smartly dressed in a black jacket, white shirt and an Argyle tie, matching that of chairman Paul Stapleton, who was sat next to him. Holloway said: "The way I look at it, I have taken 10 years to earn this tie. I think I might have got it for nothing but the man next to me is very shrewd with his money and he has asked me for £15.99. Apparently, they are a little bit dearer than that in the club shop so I have got some discount." Holloway was asked what he thought of the squad he was inheriting at Argyle and he immediately mentioned Akos Buzsaky, who scored a stunning equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Queens Park Rangers last October. He said: "I was sick and fed up with Mr Buzsaky, I must admit, because he scored a fantastic goal, that would have graced even the World Cup, at my place. I was sat there feeling totally comfortable and my team was doing alright, and he absolutely ripped the back of the net off. I don't want to go into certain specific players, but I believe a football club is like trying to bake a cake - you can't have all the same ingredients. You can't have all Buzsakys. You need the right balance and I believe strongly that you have a fantastic cake mix and you need some icing on the top of your cake. That's always the hardest thing to get right. It's the most expensive item, and that's what the fans are looking for - to be entertained by those type of people. I'm so excited about getting started and working with these people. That's what I have been missing. In my garden I have been staring at some fish and they don't respond to me the way humans do. So I can't wait to get that relationship going." When asked whether he had players in mind to bolster Argyle's small squad, Holloway said: "Oh yes, definitely. Half of the Brazil team are already lined up - and then I woke up this morning." Holloway later explained how his mother comes from Saltash but his wife, Kim, was born in Germany. "What she's doing with me, I don't know," he said. "I married her before she got her glasses." When asked about his children - Holloway and his wife have three daughters and one son - he had this to say about 18-year-old William. "He's a wonderful fella but, my God, he needs some focus. "Does he follow after his father? Not in one iota. He's 6ft 1in and he's good looking, but he doesn't know what he wants to do. I have got some rockets that I will be inserting in certain areas if he doesn't sort his life out."
Argyle today appointed Ian Holloway as the clubs new manager
Ian Holloway is fully aware of the areas that need improving at Argyle, but feels that the fundamental ingredients are already in place. The squad return for pre-season tomorrow, and Holloway said: "I know the positions that we need to strengthen and I might have to spend in order to do that. I think we've got a very strong cake mix but we need a bit of icing on the top, and those things can look very fancy. The icing on the top is really the players who put the ball in the net, and they are the ones that normally cost the most." Consolidation is seemingly the key word for Holloway after the fantastic success Argyle have enjoyed in the last five years. "In the last few years the club has run so fast that they've almost left their backside behind," he said. "Obviously I've got plans, but I doubt if I can bring in the type of people we need to get promoted instantly, but that's our eventual aim and target, and we'll die trying."
Ian Holloway was full of praise for the Argyle board, and the manner in which his appointment has come about. He said: "I was very impressed with the ambition of the board and, technically, I could have sat in my garden for another two years. That is not me, and I was shaken out of that situation by your chairman and board of directors in one meeting. The overall professionalism and the way they've handled this situation has been nigh on gob-smacking for me, so that's why I'm here and I'm ready to go to work."
Ian Holloway was a fierce opponent of Argyle as the two clubs battled for promotion in the 2003/04 season. During that time, a bizarre encounter with Paul Sturrock led to Holloway striking up a friendship with the Scot. He has great respect for the man who guided Argyle to two promotions in three seasons. "Paul Sturrock is nigh on a God down here, and he should be held in that esteem," said Holloway. "In three years, Plymouth rose through two divisions, and in that time Paul Sturrock has become a good friend of mine. After a 3-0 victory over Argyle Sturrock phoned me up and asked for a friendly, which was totally unheard of as we'd just played a league match. He said that he wanted his players to learn, which I thought was astounding - they soon learned, and finished above us in the table." Sturrock was not the only one of his predecessors singled-out for praise by Holloway. He said: "The players will have to get used to how Ian Holloway does things, as opposed to how Tony Pulis does things, but It wouldn't be right if I didn't mention the great job Tony Pulis did here. It's well documented that I'm the Godfather to his son, and I'm very proud of that. We've had our run-ins in the past; as you do in the football world, but I think every Plymouth fan should be very proud of what he's done because it looked like relegation. He managed to stabilize the ship after a horrendous situation for himself - to be sacked during the summer without kicking a ball is absolutely ridiculous."
Argyle have extended the deadline for supporters to buy discounted season-tickets. Fans originally had until July 1st to buy the cheaper ticket for the new campaign, however, the club has decided on an extra two weeks to cash in on the cut-price offer. Michael Dunford said: "We've extended the deadline for two reasons. Firstly, the appointment of Ian Holloway as our new manager has grabbed the imagination of a lot of fans who we believe will want to be part of the team next season. We are sure that more supporters than ever will want to get right behind the new man at the start of what promises to be an exciting new era at Argyle. Secondly, like most football fans, the Green Army will have been absorbed in the World Cup and we would not like to think they have missed out on the opportunity to see four Argyle games free next season because they have taken their eye off the ball. We are therefore extending the deadline to close of business on Saturday, July 15 and we urge fans not to miss out on this fantastic opportunity."
Argyle's home game with Derby County has been chosen for live Sky Sports coverage. The game will now be played on Sunday October 15th with a 1.15pm kick-off
Next seasons league fixtures were released today. Argyle start the season at home to Wolves on August 5th, and the first away game is the following Tuesday, August 8th at Colchester. The full fixture list can be found here. Paul Stapleton was delighted with the early season fixtures. He said: "Wolves at home is obviously an exciting start to the season, and it will be nice to visit Sunderland early in the campaign. Our second home game against Sheffield Wednesday will be another intriguing fixture for supporters. Two years ago when we came back into the Championship we had a really exciting opening to the season. Hopefully we can have the same this season. I remember those early games that season, when we beat Brighton, Cardiff and Sunderland, we created tremendous interest among the supporters and that interest lasted throughout the year. It's a good, exciting start for us, but at the same time it's a tough one as well. There are no easy games in this division, you only have to look at the names in the fixture list to see the calibre of the teams we are coming up against. But this is where we want to be, we want to be playing these sides every week." The New Year's Day fixture also caught the chairman's eye. He said: "Southampton at home is a fantastic fixture for New Year's Day." Stapleton also confirmed that he and his board had been using this week to speak to applicants for the vacant managerial role at Home Park. He said: "At this time there is nothing more to say, other than we have been speaking to people this week, and we hope to make an announcement shortly."
Argyle have confirmed two fixtures for the pre-season tour of Austria. They will take on FC Gratkorn, who play in the second tier of Austrian football, on July 19th. The second game, three days later on July 22nd, is with Israeli First Division side Maccabi Petah Tikva
Argyle have been drawn at home to Walsall in the first round of the Carling Cup. The tie will take place during the week commencing 21st August
Argyle are reportedly readying themselves for a bid for David Norris from Stoke City. Norris has 12 months remaining on his contract but in April was offered an extended deal until June 2009. Negotiations have continued since then but no agreement has been reached as yet. It has been reported that Norris will wait to see who succeeds Tony Pulis before considering his next move
Ian Holloway was interviewed for Argyle's managerial vacancy yesterday, although rumours still persist that the board are trying to persuade Paul Sturrock to return to Home Park. Argyle are also thought to be interested in talking to former Burnley boss Stan Ternent
Tony Pulis is ready to take assistant manager Lindsay Parsons, as well as coaches David Kemp and Mark O'Connor, with him from Argyle to Stoke, which would leave goalkeeping coach Geoff Crudgington and physio Paul Maxwell as the only remaining first team staff at Home Park. However, Maxwell is out of contract at the end of the month and Pulis is known to admire the way he works. One person who has already followed Pulis from Argyle to Stoke is Vincent Pericard. Pericard has signed a three-year contract with Stoke after being released by Portsmouth at the end of last season, having spent the final three months of the season on loan to Argyle. Pulis said: "He's six foot two, quick and has two good feet. He came to us at Plymouth after not too much football because of injuries. He wasn't absolutely outstanding but showed enough to convince me there is more to come, which will hopefully be to Stoke City's benefit."
Tony Pulis claimed Argyle fought hard to keep him but the draw of returning to Stoke City had been just too hard to resist. However, the Welshman insisted he had enjoyed his nine-month stint at Home Park. He said: "It's a smashing, unique club. It's miles from anywhere else, which is a problem when it comes to attracting top players. But once you've got them there, you can engender a great spirit among them because they are all living in the area. I definitely enjoyed my time there." Pulis also revealed that he had been approached by two 'top Championship clubs' but chose to return to the Potteries, mainly due to his long-standing close friendship with Peter Coates. Pulis said: "I think everything was determined by Peter Coates. He was very persuasive when it came to saying what he wanted for the football club. I've been approached by two other Championship clubs - which Peter doesn't actually know about - but once I had spoken with him there was only one club I was going to. I was that definite." Pulis also confirmed that he would like both Lindsey Parsons and David Kemp to join him at the Britannia Stadium. "I've always worked with Lindsay Parsons and would like to think he's coming with me from Plymouth and the same might be said of David Kemp," he said. "I also want to bring in a couple of new faces, but because they're currently working at other clubs there isn't much more I can say at the moment."
Argyle are expected to appoint Ian Holloway as their new manager - providing he can sever his links with Queens Park Rangers. A source reportedly said: "Ollie has basically been offered the job as long as he can sort out his position with QPR. Talks have been held between him and Argyle and one of the reasons he's so keen to take the job is because his kids are in school in Exeter. He's been linked with a few jobs elsewhere, and he hasn't been interested - but he's really keen to take the Argyle job on."
Argyle issued the following statement at 4.10pm today following the decision of Tony Pulis to rejoin Stoke City: "We are naturally disappointed that Tony Pulis has chosen to leave the club when it is on the brink of a most exciting era, with the imminent purchase of the Home Park freehold and Phase II of the redevelopment of the ground coming to fruition soon. However, given Tony's obvious desire to return to Stoke, it would have been not only churlish to stand in his way, but also counter-productive to the needs of our club at this vital time of the year. Our focus now is not on the past, but on building on our success of the last five seasons, during which we have made steady progress up the league. The process of identifying the man with the right credentials to take on this task has already begun."
Tony Pulis today broke his silence and from his holiday in Portugal said only: "I have stayed out of it and let the two clubs get on with it. I'm on holiday and I will certainly not be coming back early. I want to enjoy our last few days out here."
Reports suggest that Tony Pulis is expected to be confirmed as Stoke City's new manager early next week after Argyle granted him permission to speak to his former club. The two clubs have been in talks this week and a compensation package has been agreed, believed to be between £50,000-£70,000. Tony Scholes, Stoke's chief executive, said: "Clearly, supporters would have expected a great deal of work to be going on behind the scenes in identifying and considering potential candidates for the job. And I can assure them that has been happening. To that end, I am now delighted to say that Plymouth have given us permission to speak to Tony Pulis about the vacancy here at Stoke. I recognise that over the last week or so there has been very little communication to our fans on this matter. But sometimes this is necessary to complete our work in as confidential a manner as possible." Argyle will now begin their search for a new manager, with Ian Holloway and Paul Sturrock the names rumoured to top their list
Argyle issued the following statement today: "Following renewed requests from Stoke City and from Tony Pulis himself, we have reluctantly granted permission for Stoke to talk to Tony. A compensation package has been agreed between the two clubs, should those talks result in Tony returning to Stoke." There will be no further comment from anyone at the club on this matter
Argyle will play in a new ten-team regional division of the Pontin's Holiday Combination next season. They will be joined in the Wales and West division by Exeter City and Weymouth, who were both voted into the Combination at Thursday's annual meeting in London. Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, Cardiff City, Cheltenham Town, Swansea City, Swindon Town and Yeovil Town are the seven other teams in Argyle's division
Plymouth Argyle are unlikely to appoint a head of youth development until the start of July. The new position was advertised last month, with a closing date of May 24th. It is not known whether Argyle's current youth team manager Stuart Gibson has applied for the role. Michael Dunford said: "We have had a good response to the advert. The board will be meeting in the next couple of weeks and then some interviews will be arranged. I would say it's unlikely there will be an appointment before the beginning of July."
Argyle are still waiting for confirmation on who they will play during their pre-season tour to Austria. It is thought Argyle want to play local opposition in the first match and a top-class European side in the second one
David Norris has recently returned from a holiday in Mexico and talks over extending his contract, which has 12 months remaining on it, will now resume. Michael Dunford said: "David has been away on holiday in Mexico. I think he has just got back and discussions will now continue."
There should be a resolution to the saga surrounding the future of Tony Pulis by the end of this week. It is reported that the two clubs have been involved in behind-the-scenes discussions about Stoke making a compensation payment to Argyle for allowing Pulis to leave and that Argyle officials are anxious for his future to be sorted out - one way or another - before the weekend. They believe the continuing uncertainty is damaging the club's prospects for next season and will not allow it to continue for much longer. Pulis' backroom staff of David Kemp, Mark O'Connor and Lindsay Parsons could follow Pulis to the Britannia Stadium. Kemp and Parsons both worked with Pulis when he was previously at Stoke, before he was dismissed last June. Paul Stapleton and Robert Dennerly were attending the Football League's two-day annual meeting in Albufeira, Portugal, which started this morning. Stoke chairman, Peter Coates, was not there because of business commitments, but chief executive Tony Scholes was. So there will be a chance for face-to-face talks between the representatives of both clubs. It is thought Pulis is staying less than an hour away from Albufeira, on holiday with his wife, two daughters and son Anthony, who was on loan to Argyle from Stoke at the end of last season. Stapleton declined to make any comment about the future of Pulis last night. Coates, meanwhile said: "I'm afraid I'm not in a position to comment on the managerial situation at present. "But I can assure supporters that things are being dealt with as quickly as possible and are not being allowed to drift."
Paul Stapleton and new Stoke City owner Peter Coates are set to meet face-to-face in Portugal next week. The two will both attend the Football League chairmen's annual general meeting in Albufeira, Portugal next Wednesday morning. Stapleton will be accompanied in Portugal by Argyle vice-chairman Robert Dennerly. It is also believed Tony Pulis, by chance, is currently holidaying in Portugal himself. Argyle have refused to confirm or deny whether Stoke have made a second official approach for Pulis and it remains unclear whether last week's rebuttal was a final rejection or merely an opening gambit
Stuart Gibson insisted both Argyle and his youth players will reap rewards in the future from their week-long trip to France. Gibson took a 16-strong squad of largely under-13 players from Argyle's Centre of Excellence to the Breton town of Primelin, to play in the qualifying stages of the Le Mondial Pupilles de Plomelin. Although Argyle's youngsters failed to win a game in their nine-strong group, Gibson believes the experience gained in the Finistere department of Brittany will prove invaluable. He said: "It's a marvellous tournament where our Centre of Excellence youngsters benefited hugely from the experience. For many of the players it was their first time abroad, let alone playing against foreign players of this calibre. You could see by their reaction when we boarded the ferry for Roscoff that it was a tough time both for the players and their parents. It was both touching and gratifying to see how well our players adapted and grew in stature as the week went on. We had a very young set of players this year, some in the under-11 category, but they handled themselves both on and off the pitch with great maturity. Out of the eight games we played in our group, we drew one and lost seven, but those losses were by a single goal. And I believe we were the only team to keep FC Nantes, who won the tournament, down to a one goal winning margin. Given that we were missing six of our more experienced lads, who were in the Ivybridge Community College under-13 team which reached a national final, Argyle and Plymouth can feel very proud of their players. They earned the respect of not only the youngsters they came up against but also the coaches. At lunch on the last day, for instance, they were given a standing ovation by the other teams, who recognised that Plymouth had been far from outclassed in the tournament."
Nick Chadwick is backing Argyle to strengthen their attacking options in time for next season. Chadwick is unworried at being the sole senior striker on Argyle's books and said: "I'm not too bothered about the forward situation, to be honest - I'm sure things will get sorted out soon. Yes, I'm the only senior striker at the club at the moment, but I'm sure that won't be the case for too long. Anyway, we've got the two lads, Zebroski and Reid, who I am sure will be keen to show what they can do. It will feel strange not having Mickey around next season, he's been tremendous for the club. The club know that we need to strengthen in that department and I'm sure they are working on it. I don't know anything about the managerial situation, other than what I've read in the newspapers. I'm just concerned on keeping myself ticking over fitness-wise, so that I'm in reasonable shape in time for pre-season training. I've been going out on a few gentle runs and going up to the gym as well as playing a few rounds of golf." Chadwick is travelling to Germany to watch Brazil play Australia in the World Cup. "I shall be flying out to Munich to watch my mate Tim Cahill, who is in the Australia squad," said Chadwick. "I've known Tim since we were together at Millwall about three years ago and then, of course, Everton."
Akos Buzsaky is determined to win his place back in Argyle's team next season - as he knows his international ambitions rest on it. Buzsaky, who was left out of the Hungary squad for this summer's internationals after a disappointing season at Argyle, said: "I would have liked to have been playing against England. But in the last couple of months of the season I did not play for Plymouth. I was only sub and if you are not playing for your club you are not going to be involved in the national squad. I have to play for Plymouth, that's the only way I can get back in the national team. I just have to play. I'm resting now in Hungary with my family, but I'm already looking forward to next season. I'm hoping it's going to be a great season. I had injuries last year in December and January, but by the beginning of February I was training with the team again and injuries were not the reason why I did not play. The reason was the manager thought the team had done very well while I was out and did not want to change it. But I don't want to talk about the past. I'm just looking forward to next season and looking to get back into the team." Buzsaky may be in Hungary but he, like all the other players on holiday, has been following the developments at Home Park from a distance. But he insists the Argyle squad cannot concern themselves too much with the speculation over Tony Pulis's future. He said: "I don't know the situation, I've just heard the speculation, but I don't think about it. I'm just enjoying my time in Hungary and looking forward to next season."
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