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.
Gregg Wylde explained why he made the surprising decision to return to Home Park only a year after leaving to join Millwall, saying that Derek Adams influence played an enormous part in his decision. Wylde said: "It feels like I haven't been away. It's great to be back. Sometimes in life, you realise that you miss something that you need to go back to. It was a good experience for me to be away in London but Derek Adams gave me a 'phone call a couple of weeks ago, spoke to me quite a few times, and it was a no-brainer for me. I did have a few offers to go elsewhere, but Derek obviously has a bit of faith in me – some managers will take you back for a second time and when Derek 'phoned, my mind was made up. I missed last season, when we won promotion, and that's probably the season you want to be involved in – when you're playing at Millwall and Northampton and you're watching boys here enjoying themselves, you want to be a part of it. I missed the place, away from the ground. The place itself is really nice; my family love it. So I couldn't turn it down. There's not a massive gulf between League One and League Two. There are tough games but I think we'll be alright next year."
The news that Argyle fans have been waiting for all summer has finally arrived with Graham Carey putting pen to paper on a new contract for Argyle. The 28 year old Dubliner's signature has been keenly sought this summer but he elected to stay with the greens rather than move to pastures new.
The news of Carey's signature was pleasing to new signing Joel Grant- who is now looking forward to playing alongside Carey rather than merely admiring him from afar. The former Exeter man said: "I admired him from afar and he's definitely a player I'm looking forward to play with – instead of against! I'm in the perfect position on the pitch to be able to link-up with him quite a lot so I'm looking forward to that. It's all positive. At the moment, all I'm getting from the club is positive vibes. I think that will help in the season."
Gary Sawyer has had plenty of pre-seasons in his career so far but he still gets that first day excitement. The defender said today, as the players returned for pre-season training: "It doesn't matter how old you get or how young you are, in football, there's a real buzz going into your first day. It sounds childish, but it's nice to get in and see your new training-kit; the new kit you are going to play in; everyone's got new trainers, new boots. Then it turns from being a nice buzz, seeing everyone, to being nervous energy when you've got to go and run around a track. Pre-season is always tough but, if it wasn't, you wouldn't be fit enough. It's definitely been tough here for the last two years; I can't see that changing. Now we have got ourselves in a league we want to be in, a league we deserve to be in, it's can we push on again? That's what everyone at the club is aiming to do. It's a tough league. You look through the fixtures and there are tough games against big teams, but we're a big team, too – I don't think too many teams will want to come down and play us
"It's exactly what I wanted. I said, when I came back to the club, it was something I wanted to carry on doing and, luckily enough, the gaffer's given me another chance to do that. I'm really looking forward to it."
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair is another in a long line of signings to play for Argyle following a career north of the border. The defender spoke about how he hopes to work with new manager Derek Adams: "It's one of the factors why I chose to come here. The manager has taken players from Scotland and improved them, and they are well-known names down here now. As soon as I got the call from the manager that he wanted me down here, I just jumped at the chance. I'm delighted to be here. I started at Montrose and, from there, I moved to Partick Thistle, who were in the SPL, and that's maybe where the manager saw me – he was the manager of Ross County at the time. It was good times at Partick. I enjoyed my time. When I played there, the aim was to get down to England and I've done that. I know what it takes to play in League One and I am looking forward to the challenge. It's a competitive league and I think it will be better than last time I was there with the teams coming down and the teams going up. I checked the fixtures and we play Doncaster and Wigan one after the other; I'll look forward to that when it comes."
Finally, the full set of squad numbers have been released ahead of the new season and can be found on the club's official site. Most notably, the number 9 shirt has been left vacant for now. Gregg Wylde has taken up the number 21 shirt rather than return to his old number 11 shirt which has been taken up by Ruben Lameiras. Graham Carey has of course taken up his trademark number 10.
Argyle's away kit has been revealed with a mixture of citrus green and black on the shirt, black alone on the shorts and pure citrus on the socks.
Gary Sawyer has signed a new Argyle contract. The left-back, who has played 178 times for the Greens, has renewed ahead of Argyle's first season back in League One.
Two days short of a year after leaving Argyle, Gregg Wylde has returned to Home Park. The 26-year-old Scottish winger has rejoined the Pilgrims following a season in League One with Millwall and Northampton Town, who he played for on loan from the Lions. Wylde's first spell in Argyle's promotion near-miss in 2015/16 earned him the move to League One.
Argyle's final new signing of the day and eight of the summer is former Doncaster left-back Aaron Taylor-Sinclair Taylor-Sinclair missed the majority of Doncaster's promotion to League One last season through injury but was a major player for them in 2015/16.
Dutch goalkeeper Robbert te Loeke has become the latest new signing to put pen to paper for Argyle in the 2017 close season period. The 28 year old has spent a season in the Dutch second division and notably played against Argyle in a pre-season friendly while the Pilgrims were on a visit to the Netherlands in 2010 under Peter Reid's management. The match ended 3-3, with Argyle's goals coming from Craig Noone and Joe Mason.
Newbie Joel Grant believes that his Devon Expressway switch to Argyle from Exeter will benefit his international ambitions. The 29-year-old put his involvement with the Jamaican national side on hold last season to aid the Grecians' ultimately unsuccessful League Two promotion push. He now says, however: "It's a League One football club who I believe have the potential to go higher – and have been higher, so I know how big a club it is – and, speaking to the manager, I feel it's a good opportunity for myself. I like to call myself 'an attacking player' – I wouldn't label myself 'a winger' – one likes to try to exploit the back four, and create and score goals. It's been a long journey, a good one, for me. I'm here now and, like I say, I feel it is a club that can get back up to the Championship, and I have been working to get back to the Championship again – and maybe even the Premier League. I never see age as a problem and I think, as long as you are prepared to work hard, anything is possible.
"I'm still on the roster. That's another reason for getting to the Championship, because you have international breaks. It's more to do with myself that I haven't been involved of late because I felt it was only right to concentrate on trying to get Exeter promotion, but I still love to play for my country and I want to be involved. My new mission is to get Plymouth into the Championship so I can go on the breaks.
"Wherever you are, you always try to give your best for your team and, generally, you do get a bond. I am thankful for Exeter – I enjoyed my time there – and I'm about to start a new challenge, which I'm really looking forward to."
The 2017/18 Argyle home kit has been revealed. The predominantly Green kit contains more white than in recent years with white on the shoulders and on a single stripe stylised in PUMA branding.
Argyle have made a surprising 5th signing of the summer- in the shape of Jamaican international attacker Joel Grant. The 29 year old London born forward joins from Devon rivals Exeter City, weeks after their defeat to Blackpool in the play off final.
Former Scotland under-21 midfielder Jamie Ness has become Derek Adams latest signing after his release from Scunthorpe at the end of last season. Ness plays in the centre of midfield and began his career at Rangers.
Martyn Starnes has admitted that Argyle's start to the season is far from ideal with two long away matches over the Christmas period. Starnes said: "I think there are some positives and negatives from the fixture list. It's good to have a fixture like Charlton as our first home match. I think that will be a cracking game. We are probably a bit disappointed with the holiday fixtures. At Christmas we have got back-to-back away games against MK Dons and Blackpool. We have got Blackpool on December 30 and then to have to come home and play on January 1 against Walsall is pretty difficult. Then at Easter, similarly, we have got Southend at home but then have to go to Scunthorpe, which is one of our longest trips of the season. Again, that's pretty difficult when it comes to travelling and planning your training programme, and all that sort of thing.
"The other slight disappointment is that we are away in the first game and away in the last game. I don't think the fans are going to be too happy about having to go to Gillingham for a 5.30pm kick-off on May 5. But we have got to play everybody twice and I know that the fixture process is a really difficult one. There are a lot of northern-based sides in this division and it's not easy to keep the fixtures sensible in terms of timing and travelling."
The full Argyle fixture list has been released and can be found on the club's official website. The Pilgrims open the campaign away to Peterborough United and are also on the road on both Boxing Day and the season's final match.
Alex Fletcher has become the latest graduate of the Argyle Academy to progress to the Pilgrims first-team squad. Forward Alex, who turned 18 in February, joins defenders Jordan Bentley and Callum Rose in making the step up from the apprentice ranks to Derek Adams' senior squad. Two more of his contemporaries – Dan Rooney and Aaron Taylor – have accepted offers of a professional development contract for the new campaign
Simon Hallett has admitted that Argyle will not immediately be able to fund the second phase of the grandstand redevelopment- but said that it would nonetheless be cheaper than phase one for which the funding is already accounted. Hallett said: "The £5m budget is for stage one, stage two will be when we can afford it. The amount to do it will be probably less than £1m, so a fraction of phase one," he told a fans' forum in Launceston last week. The main thing is to extend the grandstand roof and to fill in the corners. We need to be able to take short of a million quid away from other priorities.
"And there are plenty of priorities for spending: the first team, training facilities, repair and maintenance, which, frankly, needs some catch-up work. We'll do it when we can afford it, but it will always be a bit of a struggle to be able to afford it. Having said that, it doesn't bother me that much. I know there's an obsession with a capacity over 20,000, but we were 9,500 (on average) last year, current ground capacity is roughly 16,000, phase one takes it to 18,000, phase two will take it to over 20,000, maybe between 21,000 and 22,000 if we can have standing.
"We want to be able to fill the corners in a way that fills capacity and gives fans the standing room they want, but until we get clearance from the EFL we're not going to be able to do that. The ground looks better with the corners filled in, but we don't want to fill them in with expensive seating and rip them out when standing becomes available. Having a delay is a good thing, not a bad thing.
"Every time you get cash in from unexpected sources there are claims on that cash, particularly at Argyle where there have been many years of not having enough money for basic investment in facilities to keep the fan experience at the level the fans, quite rightly, demand. Fans' demands of an experience at a football ground are higher than they were 50 years ago, quite rightly. Argyle is not yet able to deliver the experience fans deserve, so as we get more fans there will be investment in the fan experience. This grandstand is partly the fan experience and partly an investment in generating more revenues to invest in the first team and fan experience, but there will always be claims and we had the wonderful thing with Liverpool this year. That money went very quickly. We spent money on Harper's Park, maintenance, here and there. It goes very quickly, trust me."
Argyle will play Bristol City in the Carabao Cup. The Pilgrims will travel to Ashton Gate in the first round of the competition, formerly known as the EFL Cup or Capital One Cup. The tie will take place in the week beginning August 7. The Robins, managed by Lee Johnson, came 17th in the Sky Bet Championship last season. Their squad contains former Argyle loanees Arnie Garita, Bobby Reid and Joe Bryan.
Newbie Ryan Edwards has spoke about how he is ready to make the big step up to League One football with Argyle after his developmental years in League Two with Morecambe. He said: "I've played a lot in League Two and I think I'm ready for the next step which will be playing in League One with Plymouth for the next chapter of my career. It's a higher division than I've been playing in. It's time to move on and take on the next challenge at the higher level which I am sure that I can do. It's a nice compliment if someone is willing to sign you, never mind pay money for you. For them just to want you, especially a club like Plymouth is great. I've been on holiday of late checking my phone seeing if anyone has got in touch. Thankfully now it's all been done and now I can do my bit getting back fit for the pre-season which is in just over two weeks.
"I like everything. I like defending, I like playing, I like passing. It's the modern game you have got to be able to do everything. You'll see centre-halves who can do one thing and not the other; they've got to be able to do both. You've got to be able to start attacks off; you've got to be strong and defend crosses; win your headers; I'd like to think I've got all that. Obviously I'm not perfect. I'll hopefully still improve at Plymouth and help them to not just stay in the league but kick on again."
CEO Martyn Starnes has responded to 'speculation' about the future of manager Derek Adams. Adams has been linked in Scottish media with a move to Aberdeen following Derek McInnes' decision to take up the Sunderland job. Starnes defiantly said: "It isn't surprising for a successful manager to be linked to vacant positions. Derek is only 12 months into a four-year contract and we believe he will take Argyle to further success during that period."
Ryan Edwards has become Argyle's third summer signing. The 23-year-old centre-back comes to Home Park after a compensation fee was agreed between Argyle and Morecambe. Ryan comes highly-rated by his former club, having won Player of the Season awards voted for by supporters and fellow pros last season.
Argyle have answered a serious of frequently asked question regarding the club's new grandstand. Full answers can be found on the club's website. However, notable inclusions are the facts that the club are still pushing for safe standing and would hope to incorporate it in the second phase of redevelopment assuming the legislation is in place at that time. They hope Stage 1 to be complete by the end of the 2018/19 season with Stage 2 to be undertaken at an undefined future date.
Ruben Lameiras has said that he has a point to prove going back into League One after a spell of mixed fortunes with Coventry in which he both got relegated and won the checkatrade trophy. He said: "I was keen to get back into League One and show people what I can do. It was a different experience. I went out of my comfort zone, so to speak, and experienced a new league; new people; new lifestyle; a new way of thinking; a new way of playing. So it was a learning-curve for me.
"I know Hiram, who was here, and Dean Parrett, also, so I knew the club. It's a great club and I'm excited to be here."
Argyle have signed Portuguese free agent Ruben Lameiras. Most recently with Coventry City, the 22-year-old is an attacking midfielder, with the ability to play on the flanks, or behind the forward line. Lameiras is the second signing of the close season.
Plymouth Argyle have a great opportunity to build their fanbase after their promotion into League One, according to club director and marketing expert Peter Jones, following the news that there has been a substantial rise in season ticket sales for the 2017/18 campaign, compared to the same stage last summer. Jones said: "I grew up in Plymouth and I know it quite well. I think this promotion was particularly important. Instinctively, Plymothians see Argyle either as a Championship or League One side. They see it as a club that operates in the second and third levels of English football. They don't see it as a top level side, which is understandable, because the club has never been there, but nor do they see it as a fourth level side. I don't think a lot of people would necessarily always say it, but they have discounted Argyle in League Two because it was the old fourth division. We have got out of that now. We are away and we have got back into our natural habitat, although, of course, we want more. So, as a result of that, I think we have got a fantastic opportunity to firstly bring people back, and secondly to attract new people.
"There is tremendous growth in regional pride now. The city has made such strides over the last five or six years and it continues to do so. There are all sorts of reasons for that, but there is more pride in Plymouth, and now with Argyle out of League Two there is a chance for there to be more pride in the club. I think that's a great opportunity. I think the season was amazing, particularly in the context of what had happened last summer with the disappointment of the play-off final frankly not going to plan. The manager reorganised the squad and after losing the first three games the team were so relentless for the whole season, which was quite marvellous. People haven't really said very much about the fact that we won the promotion by 10 points. This wasn't going up by goal difference or waiting until the last game. I think that is a great achievement, I really do, and it bodes well for next season."
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