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.
Argyle have confirmed young prospect Luke Jephcott is the final player to accept the contact offer that was made in May. Last season's young player of the year said to the fans: "Ryan Lowe was obviously a striker when he played, so yeah I think it will help me because I can play either as a striker or a winger. It will be good for me and all the other strikers to get that knowledge from him to help us progress. From our point of view ,he doesn't know any of us, so we will have to try and put on a good impression. It is going to be hard for me because I have got to make that new impression all over again, straight from the beginning. I would like to get myself into the starting 11, week in week out. It is a fresh start, the gaffer has brought in his backroom team, new faces, a new style and it's going to be new for everyone. An attacking style of play is going to benefit me, it's going to benefit the team as well. That style is always going to bring goals. That is what we want, I'm sure that's what the fans want as well and I am confident that we can get back to where we should be."
Simon Hallett now owns 96% of Argyle after a cash injection into the club saw him create extra shares for PAFC. The money should be invested into Argyle's sound and payment systems as well as the first team squad.
Ryan Lowe had positive first impressions of young Argyle keeper Mike Cooper and said that he will be in competition for the number one spot with whoever he brings in this time round. Lowe explained: "Michael Cooper is a good goalkeeper and you don't go away with England under-19s if you're not very good. He's a fantastic lad and got all the credentials to be a top goalkeeper. I am going to bring in another 'keeper and then it's up to those two. I've told the lads if you perform, you keep your shirt. All I do is write your name on a team sheet. As for now, we've got Michael and a youth-team 'keeper, so we're alright. We want to give Michael a chance and whoever we bring in, it doesn't mean he will be number one. I was aware he Letheren had been offered a contract before I was appointed. I was asked whether I wanted to keep Kyle Letheren and I said it was fine if the contract was still offered, but I would want to bring in another 'keeper as well."
Lowe also spoke about him having settled well into Argyle since arriving earlier in the month. The Liverpudlian said: "I'm settling in, I've been a busy bee. I came down Tuesday and lots of late nights on the phone, but the missus and the kids are coming down on the weekend, which will be good. I'm really looking forward to it, had some nice meals down the Barbican and privileged to be the manager of Argyle. I am privileged with the way people have spoken to me and the fans asking for pictures with them. It is a privilege to be a manager of this football club and it will probably hit home a bit more on July 27, when we play Bristol Rovers at home. That will be my first game and I can really get to grips with the Green Army. That will be a big day for me and I'm excited, really looking forward to the challenge. I am really excited for the forthcoming season and we'll do our work, get our lads fit, strong and in the right place."
Lowe also had words for the departed players who have gone to other clubs after last season's relegated. Lowe said of Carey, Lameiras and first Ladapo: "I didn't know Fred as a lad but I did speak to him on the phone, and by text. He asked me questions about the clubs in for him and I did highly recommend Richie Barker and Paul Warne at Rotherham because they were both strikers. I tried to keep Fred because he scored 19 goals [last season] but his head was elsewhere, which was fine. We're not going to begrudge anyone and it was good business for the football club. He's moving to a higher division and a fantastic club in Rotherham. I tried to keep him but we move on and wish him all the best. He had a fantastic season for Argyle, scored lots of goals and long may that continue.
"Lameiras has gone to play for a team in Portugal, Carey has gone to a team in Europe and Freddie has gone to a good team in Rotherham. I don't blame them at all. What I would have liked them to do, from a selfish point of view, is to give me a chance to work with them and also give the Argyle fans a chance to change what happened last season, but they have been good servants to the football club. We offered Graham and Ruben contracts to stay, but I'm happy they haven't gone to other clubs in League Two. They've gone to foreign clubs and, who knows, maybe one day they ask to come back to Argyle. I wish them all the best and, yes, slight disappointment they didn't give us another year to rectify what happened last season but I wish them well. When I signed the contract and talked about where we were going to go, the budget was there and that's not going to change. I'll spend it wisely and spend it like it was my own. I'm not one for chucking money at people. It's got to be the right person. We had Fred, Graham and Ruben in that budget, so it does free up money but I had money anyway to go and bring in signings. We will stick to our budget and we're happy. I've got a good budget and they have backed me. We tried to keep Ruben and Graham but they didn't want to be here. We offered them good contracts but I'm pleased for them to try a different challenge. Fair play to them but there's always a new kid on the block, someone else who can come in and perform to the same levels as those boys."
In more positive news, Lowe revelaed that the reason Joe Riley has missed the start of pre-season is due to the birth of his son Jace. Lowe said of his former Bury teammate: They have been getting checks and I'm just pleased that his missus is well and the baby is well, which is good news. I have told Joe I will see him on Monday. I don't want him coming down here away from his new-born baby, it's not right. So he will spend the weekend with the baby and his missus and make sure they are right, and then he will come back and join the group on Monday. But I did say to him he might need to get out of the house for a couple of little runs of a night! I know Joe. He's a good lad and he will keep in good shape. He's a quality player. Obviously, he missed out last season towards the back end with an injury and he's looking to put that right, wants to get fit and wants to get in the team. I was speaking to him before I got the job, and then when I got the job I have picked his brains on a few bits and bobs. He's a good lad. He's one that will be very important to us this season."
28-year-old Joe Edwards has become the first signing of the Ryan Lowe era. The full-back/midfielder joins from Walsall after having previously played for Bristol City and Yeovil. He said: "It appeals to a lot of people that's the part of football everyone enjoys," said Joe, who comes to Home Park after three seasons with Walsall. Getting fans off their seat that's the main thing. You would expect this manager to do so; he did it with Bury last season and was very successful there. If we can create that same success here, the way they played, it will be fantastic."
That was the main focus for me coming here; the type of club and the size of the club it deserves to be higher than it is. We are where we are at the moment but we are where we are for a reason. I have come here to try and change that. I have had success promotions with Yeovil and that season still stays long in the memory over everything else. If you can create those type of memories with a good club and a good bunch of lads, it will be fantastic. I truly believe we'll have a good season. I met the manager and the assistant a couple of days ago and they were fantastic. They show you about the club you see the size of it and the potential that's here, it is a really exciting time to join.
"The manager showed the interest and I was delighted to jump on board. You see the project he wants to build here when you meet him, he's very enthusiastic and he gives you that energy that you want to come here to play and get started quickly as possible. It has been fantastic. I'm 28, so I'm at a great age to be a voice in the changing room," he said. "At each club I've been at, I've always taken on the captain's role at some point and I believe I can help players along the way. whether they're younger, inexperienced or whatever, it's nice to help. I played the majority of my time in the last couple of years in midfield, almost anywhere across the midfield, as well, which is sometimes in my favour, but sometimes not. You get a lot of game-time. I've had plenty opportunity over my career to play different positions, which I quite enjoy, and that helps a manager to have a player who can fill in different roles. I pride myself on being fit. I don't like missing any training sessions or games. I like to keep that consistent basis If I can put that on to the pitch and the fans can see I'm putting a shift in and working hard, that's enough for me."
Ryan Lowe himself was equally effusive in his praise of new boy Edwards, adding: "The fans can expect a little Trojan in the middle of the park, he covers the pitch quite well. He's an acquisition that we fought hard to get, we had him lined up for a while, so we were pleased the minute he said yes. One, Joe is a leader. Two, he's a good footballer, and three, he's a good lad. He's a good midfielder who can go and receive the ball off the centre-backs and the 'keeper also. He is a midfielder who is very experienced in that role. He can play left wing-back, right wing-back, a three in midfield, not just a sitting one. He is versatile and one we wanted to get over the line because he can play a few positions for us. He has got some appearances under his belt, he's had a couple of promotions, he knows what it looks like. I think he's played 86 games since that injury, so there was no concern over that. He's fit, he's covered probably 10-12km out there today, so we know what Joe gives us. We know what he's about, he's a leader, he's fit - one of the fittest lads in the team, and he's proved that this morning "
Young professional Luke Jephcott has put pen to paper on an extended deal with the club. As the last player from last season to sign a deal, Ryan Lowe spoke of a fresh start for all of last season's squad. Lowe: "He has re-signed. It was done this morning. I'm looking forward to seeing him play. As of next week we will be more football based and we will get to see them in games. I have had a good meeting with the boys this morning. I told them what I expect from them and what I want from them, and they have all got a clean slate to come and show me what they have got. They are all footballers for a reason, but you will impress me with your attitude, your commitment, your desire and the way you are around the place. Obviously, in footballing terms as well they have got to work hard, but they are the three things I like. If they show me that then they have got every chance."
New manager Ryan Lowe has put his stamp on Argyle's pre-season preparations by revising their summer travel arrangements. They will now be flying out to Alicante, Spain for a training camp from July 17-22. Lowe said: "I have never been to Holland but I wanted to put my own stamp on it, so we will be going to Alicante. The facilities are good, the food is amazing and we have been a couple of times before. As a player, I would like to go somewhere hot," he said. "People might say 'to sunbathe' but, especially with the high altitudes, training in the heat is a lot more physically demanding the lads will get a lot of rest while they are there, but we feel it's massively important for what we want to do. It'll be tough, they'll train twice a day. While we're there, we hope to get a game against a Spanish B team or maybe a Football League side. We'll hopefully get a game on the Saturday. It'll be a test; we can get a lot of football work out there, as well."
Ryan Lowe also gave a positive appraisal of his two new fitness staff, John Lucas and Jimmy Dickenson. He raved of his two new employees: "I'll be bringing John as my fitness coach. He's the best; we had a 97% ratio in terms of players last season. Obviously, the physio plays a part, but it was down to him making sure the lads were right and ready. Jimmy is the best analyst because he does a lot of work unnoticed. We are going to need player profiles, opposition and tactics. He is the best in the business, hence why we have brought him. "They won't be yes men, saying "yes sir, no sir" I want their opinions. We will disagree at times but ultimately we will come to an agreement and it'll be 'Let's do it'.
Development manager Jon Back has given a detailed update of the progression of Argyle's new grandstand and has rebuked perceptions that it is running at all behind schedule. Back said: "It's a really interesting stage that we are at. If we wind back the clock, we talked about the fact that the perception was that it was going quite slow. All the time then I described that there was a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff going on the services, the foundations and that once we got that cleared progress would appear to be a lot quicker. That is exactly where we are. There has been a dramatic visual change to it. The new lower Mayflower stand is all but completed, just the seating system needs to go in and the handrails. And, of course, the big thing that can be seen for miles around is that the roof cladding has gone on. The roof structure has been done for some time now. The scale of the project really stands out now the roof and the cladding is on. Another visual milestone is that the glazing to the front of the hospitality and conferencing centre is going in, so there are huge changes by the day."
"In terms of where we are for the project we are still largely where we expected to be. We hit a few small issues around the supply of cladding, which was for the main contractor GL Events UK to resolve and address, which they have done. Sat here today, I'm pleased where we are. I think that I would be even more pleased if there was some slight acceleration to some parts of the programme. Even that aside, we are still on course to take possession of the full building in the final quarter. As long as nothing unforeseen happens, I remain quietly confident we will have use of everything by Christmas time."
"We talked to a lot of contractors before we went with GLE UK and they all mentioned about it being a very difficult project. The timeline that GLE UK came up with was always seen to be really challenging. A lot of the bigger companies that came in to look at it said that the timeline would test them, certainly with the unpredictable complexities of refurbishing a post-war grandstand. We are still doing well. We just need the weather to hold firm and for there to be nothing else unexpected. With fingers crossed and a tail wind behind us, we are still largely on time."
"At the moment I'm quietly confident that we will have people in the stand for those games. The margins are quite fine so I certainly wouldn't want to be a hostage to fortune on it. Of course, we are planning the first of really what the inside has been designed for. We have got a New Year's Eve Ball planned for December 31, so that's going to be a really good milestone for us as well. We are going to take hand-over in the final quarter of 2019. There is then a four to six-week internal fit out programme, so we can add the Argyle touch to it We can try and consolidate that a bit and try to make it a bit quicker, and then dovetailing into that we need the physical commissioning process to get the grandstand open and match ready. That has got some regulatory requirements around it. We have a Safety Advisory Group that sits above us and helps us to both manage capacity and to ensure safety in the ground. What we will do as we move towards the opening of the south side of the stadium is that we will have a series of test events to prove its safety and that it works. I'm working on that at the moment."
"The test event process has modernised in recent years so there is a component of quite sophisticated computer modelling that goes on now. We are currently talking to a couple of specialist companies who are experts in that field. They will do what is called a static analysis, so they will work out flow rates, and then we will look to do a computer simulation, to make sure people can get in and out, and circulate safely. After that, we will at some physical test events. With the computer modelling it means we don't have to run as many as stadiums used to have to run. I think we would certainly be looking at a non-first team event where people come into the ground. We would put them through the ticketing process, but whether or not we charge depends on what the event is, and that tests everything. It will test the stewarding arrangements, the infrastructure, how we sell tickets, how the new turnstiles work and how the concourses work. That will be quite a small non-first team event and then probably for the first time that the stand is open for a first team game it will be at a reduced capacity. We will open it at a reduced capacity just to make sure that everything works as we expect it and as the computer modelling has told so. Then, only if we are completely assured that it's safe and works well, we will open it to full capacity. That will all be in conjunction with the Safety Advisory Group and the Sports Ground Safety Authority, who are the national body."
The roof has been extended by around about four to five metres further towards the touchline, but it has also gone up somewhat as well. It's a much more imposing feature of the stadium now. We have been served incredibly well with the photographic journey of this development, both through Plymouth Live, through the official club website, and of course through our great friends at Greens on Screen. But if there is one thing that the pictures don't do, they don't do the scale of it justice. There is going to be the best part of 5,000-5,500 people sat in that stand on capacity. It's an incredible presence. Keeping it now really does add that unique element to Home Park, which we were striving for. And, of course, we have moved the television gantry to the Lyndhurst now as well. So whenever you see an Argyle match at home on television you will see our beautifully restored Archibald Leitch-designed stand as the backdrop."
"I don't think there is one person, and I would include myself in that, that when you saw it stripped back to its 1950s superstructure knew quite what that would look like. It was taken right back to its bare bones and now you are looking at two big extensions. You have got this tremendous new lower Mayflower stand, but also the space that has gone out to the rear of it. That will accommodate our hospitality and conferencing area on the ground floor and the new club offices at the rear of the top floor. That has almost doubled the floor space available to us."
Argyle have lost two of their main starts of the 2018/19 season on the dame day- Portugese midfielder Ruben Lameiras has left on a free contract to join newly-promoted Portuguese top flight club FC Famalicao was confirmed. He said: "I wish my team-mates, the staff, the new manager, Simon Hallett and the Green Army the very best for the season."
Furthermore, Argyle have accepted a bid believed to be in the region of £500,000 that has seen Freddie Ladapo depart the club to join Rotherham United. It is understood that add-ons related to Ladapo's goalscoring record and promotion for Rotherham would see the Pilgrims receive further money for him. Chief executive Andrew Parkinson has been quoted as saying: "We received a very good offer from Rotherham United for Freddie, who expressed a desire to join them. In those circumstances, we felt it would not have been right to stand in Freddie's way of this chance for him to progress his career. We thank him for his contribution during his time at Home Park and wish him the very best for his future."
Parkinson went on to speak on the subject of potential new arrivals at Home Park, adding: "We have got a number of irons in the fire. Football fans want the new and want to know what's going on. But I can say we will be fine for the beginning of the season, for pre-season, and that we will have a great squad. The next few weeks will be exciting in that Ryan will be building his team, one we know that will be exciting to watch. There will be players from back to front, as well, which will be great to see. It's a fresh time for the club. The other thing I would say, and it was the same with Ryan's appointment, is that sometimes things are worth waiting for. Ryan is here now, he's fully committed to looking at how the squad is, but we want the right players too. That isn't about having numbers on the pitch. It's about having the right style and blend, and all the things he would be able to talk about far better than me. We are working on them. You can never say a time for it, so it wouldn't be the right thing for me to say that, other than we have got discussions with people. If things can fall over the line in the time-frame then good, but as with everything we have found out over the summer period it's not just a one party answer there. We have to be a little bit patient, but I think everything is going in the right direction. We are confident that we will have everything in the right place to give us a great start to the season."
Ryan Lowe has raided his ex-club Bury to bring two further employees to Home Park. Performance Analyst Jimmy Dickenson has joined the club alongside fitness and conditioning coach John Lucas.
Argyle's squad has been boosted with a trio of young players signing professional contracts today. Defender Mike Peck signed his first professional contract with the club. The midfielder turned centre-back said of becoming pro: "There were some injuries, we had a lot of centre midfielders in the squad but not many defenders, so I filled in at right-back. Then, another injury happened and I came into centre-back and stayed there. In my first season I did okay. In my second season I was converted to a centre-back and, from there, I felt my performances got better and better. Around the mid-season point, I was starting to feel that it was a positive outcome. First and foremost, I'll work really hard in pre-season, try and make an impact in training as much as possible, and see what happens. Hopefully, I'll get some involvement.
Ryan Law signed his second pro contract and hoped his attacking style could see him make waves under the leadership of Ryan Lowe. The former said: I'm obviously very happy. I have been here a long time and I just want to push on and get into the first-team. That was very frustrating because, hopefully, I would have started, made an impact on the team and had a good season for them. I'm feeling fit now. I have been working hard [ready for] pre-season to come back strong. Hopefully, I'll make a couple of starts for the first-team and train with them every day and get offered another contract. I have heard he likes attacking players. I'm an attacking full-back, so hopefully I fit his system well."
Cameron Sangster was the final player to be confirmed as a green again and is hoping he can have a much more productive season after the injury write off that was 2018/19. He said: "I'm really pleased to sign another contract to keep me here until next season. Last season was a bit of a write-off through injury. The injury with my broken ankle sort of led to another. I'm writing that one off and looking forward to next season. My personal ambition is to start the season really quickly, go to pre-season sharp and show the gaffer what I'm about from the off. If you're good enough you're old enough, as they say. I want to be in and around the first-team consistently, I want to break into the team properly and I want to want to be in the starting 11."
Kyle Letheren revealed he has followed Graham Carey, Ryan Edwards, David Fox and Yann Songo'o in leaving Argyle this summer as free agents. The goalkeeper took to Twitter to say: "Just wanted to say a massive thanks to all the @only1argyle fans, it was a pleasure representing your club. But due to circumstances that have been taken out of my own hands I won't be back next season. I wish the Green Army all the best for the future."
Argyle's League Two fixture list has been revealed with Argyle opening the season with a trip to a former club of both Ryan Lowe and assistant manager Steven Schumacher. Argyle go to Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road on August 3rd and are also away on Boxing Day, travelling to Cheltenham. They end the season playing host to Port Vale. The full fixture list can be found on the club's website. Argyle have also had their draw confirmed for the first round of the League Cup today, hosting Leyton Orient on the week commencing August 12th.
Argyle have had another squad boost with Jamacian forward Joel Grant becoming the latest player to commit his future to the greens. It was a frustrating second half of the season for Grant who has so far missed all of 2019 with injury but he's now fit again and raring to go. Grant said: "I'd say, probably, it was the worst season I've had in football. The first time I've had an operation it was a bit of a freak incident. It's corrected now, I've been back for a while. I actually probably only missed out on the last game of the season by a week or so, so I'm raring to go. Initially, without knowing the extent of the damage, I tried to get back a little quicker than I should have. Once I had the scan and realised the muscle had come off the bone, I had no choice but to do the operation."
"It gave me a different perspective on things, especially of how big the club is. I won't forget the last day of the season, that really captured my spirit. It's something that I wanted to be part of, and when I was on the retained list I was thinking this is my job now, to try and get the club back to at least League One. To be honest, the atmosphere when I'm on the pitch sounds very good, but when you're in the stands you realise a bit more. On the final game of the season in particular, the team really showed what we are capable of, and the fans showed that they are capable of. Hopefully we can have that every week next season. I'm very settled, my family is here. We really like the club, disappointed with the way we ended last season, especially with not being able to be out there and help the team, but I'm very much looking forward to this season and getting the club back to where they should be. I spoke to the new gaffer, I'm quite pleased with what he's had to say. He did very well last season, as a winner, and I'm sure he wants to continue that with Plymouth Argyle. It sounds exciting. I know a few players that played under him at Bury. I spoke to them, and they had nothing but good words to say. He's attacking, which is obviously good for an attacking player. I just hope I can do my job, stay fit, and get the shirt on a match-day."
Alex Fletcher has become the third player of the week to sign his latest professional deal at Home Park. After a frustrating couple of seasons on the periphery of the first team, the young striker backed himself that this is the season in which he feels he is capable of well and truly making a breakthrough into the side. He said: "I think, for me, breaking in is going to be a lot easier in League Two than it was in League One I really do think that I fit the criteria for what Ryan Lowe has looked for in a striker in the past. He might change the system with the players that we've got, but I feel that I offer something that would fit well. That's why I'm looking forward to this season - because I'm not looking at myself as a youngster anymore; I'm looking to break in this year. Going back into pre-season, I think everyone is on a level playing field anyway. Ryan Lowe said to me that if I did sign, which I have done now, that he is looking forward to working with me and passing on that knowledge from striker to striker. I'm looking forward to working with him."
Young midfielder Adam Randell has become the latest young player to commit his future to Argyle by signing a professional contract. The youngster revealed that he is an Argyle fan himself and that he is delighted to play for the club he grew up watching. He said: "It feels amazing, it's everything I have been working towards since I was little. Growing up I supported Argyle so it's a big achievement for me. "Success in a year, for me, will be to have broken into the first team. There is nothing there to stop me as long as I work hard and put everything into it. I would love to play in front of the fans in a home game. That would be a dream."
Ryan Lowe revealed that he and assistant manager Steven Schumacher very much come as part of a joint package- and that he has high hopes for the latter to gel well as assistant manager of the team. Lowe said of his number two: "Schuey is one of my best mates. We come as a team. He was playing non-League football and coaching at Everton when I got the job at Bury on a full-time basis until the end of the season. I brought him in and he has blossomed. He has just finished his A Licence course at St George's Park and he's very enthusiastic. He's passionate, he's hungry, he wants to be successful like we all do and he's great with the lads. He's a very intelligent football coach and the lads will love working with him, along with myself. The sessions we put on between us are very good because we want to give the lads what we liked as players. There are times on a Monday morning when we will go 'What would we like now from a Saturday?' whether we have won, lost or drawn, and we always seem to get it right. That's what Steven will bring. He's a good, honest bloke and he's really good to be around."
Owner Simon Hallett gave an insight into his the money that he is investing into the club will be spent over the coming months, revealing some will go on the football team but the lion's share will go into making off pitch changes. Hallett: My increased shareholding does not mean a change in the goal of financial sustainability that I outlined. "It does mean that I will provide more capital in coming months. The capital will come in the form of shares, not debt. I will provide more details of this in my next letter, when I hope to be able to fulfil my promise of providing greater transparency into Argyle's financial position. Some of that money will go to fund continuing, but shrinking, deficits, and some to provide the cash to make further necessary investments in our infrastructure (for example, a new sound system at Home Park!) Some, of course, will go to fund the football budget. That budget will be enough to allow us to compete in League Two, but no amount of spending can guarantee success, so it will not be an amount that will jeopardise the long-term goal of having sufficient revenue to match all our costs. It was not my original intention either to become chairman or to own almost all the shares. That I have done so is the result of the support I have had from the fans, and the enjoyment my wife Jane and I have had from being involved with Argyle. Thank you."
Ryan Lowe spoke in more depth about his footballing philosophy which currently seems to be captivating fans of the club. He ended his explanation by boldly comparing Argyle to the current champions of Europe and was steadfast in his existence that big clubs do not have a monopoly on exciting football. Lowe mused: "I think there are a lot of teams and a lot of managers that play a different style of football to me. They go from back to front, and that's fine. We play a style of football that I want to establish in my way, and that's playing from the back through the thirds. I want wing-backs getting on the ball and putting crosses in the box, strikers scoring plenty of goals, shots from outside the box. It didn't just happen at Bury. We had to work on it. We work on that by watching other games, watching other football teams, learning off other managers. Ultimately, you have got to have your players buy into it. Once we do that we will be fine. You will see a different style. I think football is supposed to be played with a football on the grass.
Now a lot of teams and managers play long ball football and for second balls. That's fine, no problem, but I wanted to do it my way and we have learned to get the lads onside and to play the right way and that's through the thirds. What you will see from myself and from the players is a bit of excitement, a bit of passion, a bit of desire and a bit of commitment."
"I'm a very passionate man and I want to do things the right way, and the Ryan Lowe way. If I do half of the stuff Jurgen Klopp has done I will have a good career. It's just because I was fortunate enough to play Liverpool pre-season and he gave us a good mention in how we played, our formation and our style of play. He said we would get success if we stuck to our plans and what we were doing. I spent time watching him at training and he told me a few things about when he was at Mainz and where he came from, right the way through to Dortmund. It was good, and it's all stuff that ticks boxes to learn. I like to listen to managers. I don't just speak to Jurgen Klopp. I speak to as many people as I possibly can Karl Robinson, Paul Cook, John Coleman and I will continue to do that. I feel if you can get a helping hand from anyone you know, it's only right you do that. The Jurgen Klopp of Devon? Well, if I can win the European Cup it will be good won't it? I said at Bury, why can't we play like Man City, Liverpool or Barcelona? Well, why can't Argyle play like that? We will implement our style. You might get stopped one or two times in a game where you can't actually do it, and teams are in your face and they are pressing you like mad. You have just got to continue to keep doing it and be brave. We have got good footballers at this club already, and we will add to that. We will make sure we get a good, competitive squad together that can challenge, like every other team in the league will do. The most important thing for us is taking the instruction on board. If you take the instruction on board, you can succeed at anything you want to do. Succeeding is believing."
Argyle will not be returning to the Netherlands this summer for a pre-season training camp. As in previous years, the Pilgrims had scheduled a stay in Delden, between July 21-26, with a game against Eredivisie side Heracles to be played on Tuesday, July 23. However, Argyle stated that unforeseen circumstances have rendered that impossible and that they are are now looking to rearrange the middle part of their pre-season itinerary.
Midfielder David Fox has taken the 'truly difficult decision' to leave Argyle and return nearer to his family in the North West of England. Fox tweeted about the mixed feelings he has had as a result of the decision: "After much thought, I've decided that it's time for me to leave the club. This decision has been a truly difficult one to make and one that I've not taken lightly, but with the strain it was putting on myself and my family being so far apart, it's time to go home."There are lots of people I want to thank during my time here. The Gaffer and Wottsy first and foremost for bringing me to the club. Brew and Nance for their support off and on the pitch. My team-mates who i shared a dressing room with, especially Gaz and Super Luke, who also put a roof over my head. The many many staff behind the scenes who you may not see. The football and medical staff, Rick and the medical team, James Greenacre and the commercial team, the girls in the shop, the community coaches, the old and new chairman, the list goes on and on and I'm grateful I got to know so many of you. Last but by no means least I would like to thank the fans who gave me memories I won't forget. The 9,000 at Anfield to the 900 in the rain at Yeovil. Your support and commitment to the club is amazing, you make the club what it is. I look forward to joining you in the away end in the future. I wish the new Gaffer and the players all the best this season in what I'm sure will be a great one. Thank you all - Foxy."
Young midfielder Tom Purrington has put pen to paper on his first professional contract with Argyle. The younger brother of ex-Argyle star Ben Purrington spoke with great positivity about going pro. Tom said: "By all accounts, the new manager is really positive and likes youth as well. There is no reason why, if I prove myself, I can't get in the team Under Derek Adams, I always felt positive that I could hopefully break through. I just have to work hard and try to prove myself. With the new manager coming in, I have to prove to him what I'm worthy of, hopefully I get a break sometime this season and I just have to keep showing what I can do, work hard and maybe get a start or come on at some point during the season, and see what happens. I think those games have been really good. The Premier League Cup games and the Central League have been really beneficial, getting used to men's football which is a lot different to under-18 football. Overall, I feel I have progressed quite a bit, as have all the other players who have played in those games. Ben goes over the same things with me, telling me I have to work hard and treat every day like it's my last day or last game and see where it goes after that. You can't do any more than try your best. He is always positive, and he gives me tips on how to improve my game. Obviously, he has played at a higher level than me. I'd definitely love to go down the route he's gone down, I look up to him and if I can achieve what he has I'll be pretty happy."
Meanwhile, Lowe has confirmed that first team coach Kevin Nancekevill will remain part of the Argyle first team set up this season. The new manager wants staff members on board who know what Argyle is all about. Lowe said: "Kev will stay. I was with him last night. We had a good chat and a coffee at the hotel.I have told Kev what I expect from him. Not only is he a good coach, he's a good guy. He's well respected and he wants to buy into what I'm about and what Steven Schumacher is about. Fine, he comes on board with us. He will be our first team coach. He has got green running through his veins if you like and I want to keep as many people like that as possible. Ultimately, Kev knows that he has got to back us all the way and be honest and open with us and he's certainly going to give us that. I'm looking forward to working with him. So, yes, Kev will stay with us as one of my coaching staff members. Myself, the way I am, I'm quite bubbly. I'm lively. I want to get to know everyone. I will be up there with the girls, the lads in the offices. Whatever it takes, I'm here to be a part of a family. That's what I want to generate. I'm quite good at having everyone together. But it certainly does help when you have got someone like Kev who knows a little bit more than I do about Argyle and he can get me involved. He has invited me to his every now and then for some tea, which is great, and that's what we will do. We will go out for meals. His family will meet my family and Steven's family. We will make it the right thing to do. Ultimately, I'm a family man and I want to have a big family around me. I want people to buy into what we are about. I think when you are successful it's because you have everyone around you who wants to buy into what you are about, and Kev is no different."
Goalkeeping coach Rhys Wilmot is also staying with the greens" however, strength and conditioning coach Ollie Osborne has left the League Two club. Wilmot, 57, signed a two-year contract with the Pilgrims as their goalkeeping coach last summer, after previously working in the role on a part-time basis. Lowe added: "I will be looking to add two more staff members. I can't say where or what because it's not finalised yet."
Lowe also stated the importance of having a healthy working relationship with owner and chairman Simon Hallett and assured fans of his happiness with the playing budget provided by the latter. Lowe said: "It's very good. I won't disclose it but we are happy. It's a big part of when you want to be successful because you want to get the best players possible. I'm over the moon with that, and over the moon I'm going to be working with Andrew very closely. We will have a great relationship and Simon, Zac, Michael Dunford and everyone involved. We will make it a family club, which it probably already is. It won't be just me and my staff and the players, it will be the directors and everyone involved. We have got to have that relationship. Andrew is a nice guy and I think he's making big strides already with the football club, for what he wants to do. It's exciting times ahead. A new manager, a new CEO, brilliant. It can't get any better.
"Mine and Andrew's relationship will be solid, and Steven's with him as well. We will make sure that we have got a good bond between us because I think it's important. He's a lovely bloke. He's down to earth. We went out for a meal with him, my partner Jade, and Steven and his partner Victoria, and he paid for the meal, which was nice. We had a good chat. We spoke about the club the history of it, the geography, everything about him. He's a genuine guy and I'm really pleased to be working for him. He's already told me about the time he stood in the ground being a supporter of Argyle. He has been part of the Green Army before and he still is now. He tells me his wife, Jane, mixes with all the Argyle fans, which is great. That's what you want. He's a proper businessman and he has got the love of the club."
Lowe also gave an insight into Argyle's pre-season preparations for the summer to come, which may yet include cancelling the trip to the Netherlands which was planned by previous manager Derek Adams. The new boss said: "I want Ryan Lowe's stamp on it and a different feel. I don't know where they have been in Holland I know the place but I have never been before. Not that it matters, I'm happy to go wherever, but we are discussions about potentially changing that. As a player I hated pre-season but I loved it. I loved getting fit. I will be joining in with them, with certain elements. I will leave the running! A mate of mine was in the Army down here for six years so we are going to the boxing gym there.
Ryan Lowe seems to very much fit Simon Hallett's criteria as a modern forward-thinking football manager and has close links with both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola who have both made a point of praising the Liverpudlian's approach to the game. Lowe himself, at his first press conference, was keen to keep both feet on the ground. He said: "To be mentioned in the same breath as Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola is phenomenal. They are special managers. If you can take any sort of advice or anything from them, then Argyle will be in a good place. I feel I have just got to be a little bit different to some managers, and that's not being disrespectful to any other manager. I'm a players' manager; I feel as though I'm a good man-manager. I'll give the players everything they'll possibly need; I'll help them along the way, whether it's family issues, whether it's struggling with form. Because I know, eventually, they'll give me it back. All I'll ask for is 100 per cent effort on a Saturday or a Tuesday evening. There's a big saying of mine that actions speak louder than words just do it, don't say it."
"I'm obviously a modern manager. I've felt that me and Steven Schumacher, my assistant-manager, have not long finished playing so we know what the lads want and we know when they want it; we know the sessions we are going to give out; and it's all built on winning on a Saturday or a Tuesday evening. We will have to be patient along the way. If the lads buy into what we are doing, they will be okay; if they don't, they will be moved on, because we can't wait. We have got to get lads who want to wear the shirt with pride and want to do the right things by the football club, and by me.
"We're definitely going to bring the good times. I said that last year, after I took over Bury. I want to bring the good times back, on and off the pitch. We'll be as one, it won't just be me, the manager; Steve Schumacher, my assistant; and the coaching staff and the players we will all be together. If we want to be successful, that's what happens. Most teams that are successful have got that togetherness they galvanise each other and pull each other through, and that's what we'll be certainly doing. The relegation's probably hit a lot of people hard but one thing I can tell you is we're here to bring the good times back. I've spoken to more or less all the players now there's one or two I haven't been able to catch and they are excited. I have told them what we are going to be doing and how we are going to do it.
"We scored plenty of goals at Bury I think it was 105 goals in all competitions. We'd like to keep the backdoor shut a little bit more, if we can, but, with exciting football, that's what happens and that's what we're looking to install. The 90 per cent of the lads that I have spoken to already are excited. They have heard good things about us, and I have said that they will love the training and love the way we are with them. But we don't take kindness for a weakness. When we're working, we're ruthless. We want to get a result on a Saturday or a Tuesday evening and that is the key but, if the lads buy into what we are about, we'll be okay. We are going to try to play a nice brand of brand of football; we are hopefully going to score goals; we want to get the fans excited because that's a big part of me I have always had a relationship with fans of clubs I've played for; it's not going to be any different as a manager."
"Look, I don't want to sit here saying we are going to do this and we are going to do that because you're easily pushed right down if you don't do it, but I can guarantee passion, effort and commitment, and good football. I am sure when you have all those rolled into one, there is only one way you are going and that is that you are going to be fighting for something special. That's going to be the aim."
Regarding his family based in the North of England, Lowe stated: "I'm a big believer in family lots of the players have got families, and you get home when you can. First and foremost, it's work, it's business, and you get down to it. The footballing side of things was done when I got offered the job, really. But, I've got an 11-year-old daughter who is the boss. They are coming down for six weeks. My partner and my two children will be at the ground every other week, when we've got a home game. They're looking forward to it. People say, you know, I was in League One with Bury. My ambition is to get to the Championship in the very near future. Yes, I've taken a step back, but that's to take two steps forward. The fantastic people behind the scenes at this fantastic football club will work to make that happen."
"If you want to work with us, and we can make you better, then brilliant. If you don't, and you want to move on, that's fine. If they move on, no problem, we just replace them. The lads who are still in contract, and out of contract, they were relegated. If they want to give something back, that's great, but I'm not waiting around."
On that note, iconic midfielder Graham Carey announced via social media that he is leaving the club after a 4 year stint with the greens. Carey spoke of a bittersweet ending, saying: "I would like to say thank you so much for an amazing 4 years. It's been one of the hardest decisions I have had to make in my career but I've decided to take up a new challenge. I would also like to thank the staff for all there help on and off the pitch I will be forever grateful.To my teammates, what a group of lads we've had throughout the 4 years and the friendships I've made will last long after the football stops. To the fans you have been incredible, you have welcomed me and my family into your club and made us feel so welcome, you always supported the team trough the ups and the downs and your support home and away will be something I will never forget. Finally I would like to wish the team, new manager, staff and the club all the best next season and I have no doubt in my mind it will be a great season."
As he stepped aside from the Argyle board, James Brent had positive words to say about new manager Ryan Lowe as well as kind words for departing boss Derek Adams. Brent reflected: "I think he's a very bright and talented young manager. He's hungry and ambitious. He clearly has an attacking style of football, which I'm sure will be very exciting, and I think Simon will support him financially."
"I think Derek is a great person. It's easy to characterise people as chairmen or managers, but ultimately it's the person. I think he's a man of huge integrity with an incredible work ethic. He's a perfectionist and he was absolutely dedicated to our football club. Anyone who wasn't sad to see him go, doesn't understand what he gave to us a football club. Now that doesn't mean that it wasn't the right decision to part company from him. I told Derek, and I would tell anyone who asked, that I participated in that decision and it was unanimous. I think it was the right decision at that point but that doesn't dilute from the fact he's an exceptional man and exceptional manager."
Argyle will play Dutch top flight club Heracles during their pre-season training camp in The Netherlands next month. The fixture will be hosted by Heracles at the 13,500-capacity Polman Stadium in Almelo on Tuesday, July 23 (7pm local time, 6pm BST). Heracles will provide strong opposition for Argyle as they finished seventh in the Eredivisie last season.
Club captain Gary Sawyer was keen to reveal that he is already in the gym ahead of the new season and indeed has been since the start of June. Sawyer stated the importance of getting ahead of the game: "You give yourself two, maybe three weeks, down-time. You need it after a season. Gone are the days you would be on holiday until the day before you are back in for pre-season. Ten years ago you did that. Everyone gets themselves pretty much as fit as when they left now. If you don't want to get left behind you have got to do it. Weights is quite a good thing to do because you can get your body prepared for what is going to happen. Once you come in for the start of pre-season the bulk of it is running so you haven't got a lot of time to do the power stuff. If you can get it done before, then you can carry on doing it without having the soreness. The game is a lot more fitness based and people look after themselves a lot more in life in general now than what they used to. Everything evolves and changes. It's for the better that you keep yourself fitter. Pre-season is hard but if you have done enough work before it's not as hard as it used to be."
"I went away to see my brother, just to get my head clear of everything. He went to uni out there. He's married now and lives out there so I only get to see him once a year. As soon as we finish the season, I shoot out there to see him for a couple of weeks. He was in the youth team at Argyle. Unfortunately, he didn't get any further than that and then got offered a scholarship out there. He has got a full degree now, got a job and he's married. He's happy."
Departing director James Brent has given the vote of confidence to new chief Simon Hallett after the increase in his shareholdings this week. Brent praised the positive difference whilst also stating the differences between the pair. He said: "There are a number of owners in football who wouldn't be right for the club. There are a huge number of people that approached us that would have been totally wrong for the club. But I think Simon is going to provide a lot of excitement for supporters me included and he will do so in a way that doesn't risk the club at all, which is really important."
"Simon is wealthier than I am so, in part because of that and in part because we are different people, I'm probably more zealous on the sustainability point. I look at it that if you want to spend more money you had better earn more money. I think Simon is more moderate on that. That probably provides for a more exciting football experience going forward, and one that I look forward to enjoying. I think that local connection wasn't essential but is important that it's his football club. It's not critical. I think you can be a good owner and chairman without having that local connection, but it's really helpful when you have got it. I think his own vision for the club is absolutely right. He wants to make a positive mark on the city through the football club.
He's very focused on community, very focused on the bits that are outside the first team. But he totally recognises that for the club as a whole to be successful the first team needs to be successful. I think he just ticks so many boxes. His motivation is right, his intellect is right, his values are right, and he does have capital to support all of those. It has been a process since 2016 of getting to know Simon, and Simon getting to know us and getting to know the club. Simon has progressively invested more money and become more involved in the club so as long as the view remained that he was a good thing for Argyle it was always going to end up this way. Doing it at the end of the season, when we are setting budgets for next season, it's a very sensible time to do it. I think it's clearly very sad that we parted company with Derek as manager. But now that Simon has made an appointment of his own manager, again it's a very natural time to be handing over the final part of the reins."
Cameroonian midfielder Yann Songo'o took to Twitter to inform members of the Green Army that he will not be accepting the offer of a new contract and will be leaving the club this Summer. Songo'o thanked fans for their support, saying: What an amazing 3 years this has been, I mean it from the bottom of my heart. To the fans, the past 3 years have been full of ups and unfortunately downs but you have always got behind us, the support you have shown has been immense home and away."
Argyle chairman Simon Hallett has increased his shareholding in the club by buying his predecessor James Brent's remaining shares. The purchase of Brent's shareholding takes Simon's stake in the Pilgrims from 64% to 94%. Brent, who was Argyle chairman between 2011-2018, and fellow director Natasha Brent, his daughter, have stepped down from the Argyle Board entirely. Hallett increases his control further after becoming majority shareholder as well as chairman last summer.
Ryan Lowe has appointed fellow scouser and assistant at Bury Steven Schumacher to be his number two at Argyle. A bustling box-to-box midfielder as a player, he played alongside current player Antoni Sarcevic when the two were at Fleetwood together. Ryan Lowe will no doubt hope the chemistry that promoted Bury is recreated.
Argyle have finally confirmed the appointment many fans were waiting for by confirming Bury boss Ryan Lowe as their new manager. The Shakers boss who took the Greater Manchester side to automatic promotion last season with a high-scoring and attacking 3-1-4-2 formation seems to fit the ball of the forward-thinking and modern manager that Simon Hallett specified at the start of the recruitment process. He leaves Bury having promoted them but in dire financial straights with the club unable to pay their players and rumoured to be nearing administration. Lowe said: "I am thrilled to have been appointed Argyle manager and to have been given this opportunity to manage a great football club. I cannot wait to get started and to meet the legendary Green Army."
Hallett added: chairman Simon Hallett said: "Ryan was the outstanding candidate from a very strong and impressive list of top-quality managers. We welcome him to Home Park, having no doubts that his footballing philosophy and attacking style is perfect for the way our supporters like to see Argyle play."
Chairman Simon Hallett is to lead Argyle's delegation at the EFL Summer Conference in Portugal later this week. The United States-based businessman will attend the event on Thursday and Friday. The 63-year-old is to be joined at the EFL Summer Conference by chief executive Andrew Parkinson and Zac Newton, Argyle's football secretary and head of HR.
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