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 their 7th, 8th and 9th signings of the summer in one day. The first of today's batch to sign for the club was Latvian central defender Nauris Bulvitis. The 29-year-old has made 19 appearances for his country, scoring twice, having previously played for them at under-19 and under-21 level as well. His first international goal came in a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania in September 2013. The move to England marks his second spell in British football, having previously been a part of the Inverness side that won the Scottish First Division in the 2009-10 season. The second was Scottish striker David Goodwillie, another ex Ross County player. Goodwillie's career peaked in 2011 when he was signed by then Premier League side Blackburn Rovers for a fee of around £2 million. The day's final signing was another striker- 24 year old Jimmy Spencer who (like our first signing of the summer Ryan Donaldson) was let go by Cambridge at the end of last season. Spencer has had various spells at lower league sides and is widely regarded as a target man forward.
We have also had our fourth contract extension of the close season in the shape of currently injured striker Ryan Brunt. Brunt is expected to be back to fitness around the middle of the season.
Argyle have had their third contact extension of the close season in the shape of 20-year-old Ben Purrington. The utility player joins Louis Rooney and Luke McCormick in agreeing to stay on for another year.
Argyle have confirmed their 6th signing of the off-season, their third in consecutive days and their 5th in under a week in the shape of 23-year-old striker Jordan Slew. Slew, like so many of Argyle's current squad, has a history under manager Derek Adams at his previous club Ross County. Slew most previously played at League One Chesterfield who released him at the end of last season.
Argyle have today bid farewell to Gregg Wylde who has joined Peter Hartley and James Bittner in rejecting Argyle's contract extension offers. Wylde played 51 games in all competitions for Argyle and has elected to join League One side Millwall. After the three players who have decided to move on, and the two who have extended their contract, Argyle are now waiting on 8 players from their retained list to make Argyle aware of their decision.
Argyle's fifth signing of pre-season is former Bristol City and Brentford central-defender Karleigh Osborne. Like Connor Smith, Osborne too played for AFC Wimbledon last season but suffered an injury meaning that he could not be a part of their late run into the play-offs and promotion.
Argyle's second contract extension of the season has also been confirmed- goalkeeper Luke McCormick has agreed a deal to remain at Home Park.
Argyle confirmed their fourth signing of the off season in the form of Gary Miller who rejected a contract offer from Patrick Thistle earlier this month. 29-year-old Miller is primarily a right-back and like many of Argyle's current squad, used to play with Derek Adams at Ross County.
Of the 13 players who were offered contracts by Argyle at the tail end of last season, they have today had their first acceptance in the form of Louis Rooney. Rooney will hope to build on his debut in the final league game of last season where he scored two goals against Hartlepool.
Argyle's football league fixtures for the 2016/17 season have been confirmed and the season will start with a home match against Luton Town on August 6th. In other notable fixtures, Argyle will host Wycombe on Boxing Day and end the season with a trip to Grimsby. The full list of fixtures will be found on the club's official website.
Argyle have also been drawn away to Reading in the first round of the EFL cup (rebranded league cup). The game will take place on the midweek after the opening weekend of the season.
Finally, Argyle issued the following bullish statement following media reports that Barnsley are moving to sign Argyle's captain Curtis Nelson: "Following newspaper reports linking Barnsley with our captain, Curtis Nelson, we can confirm that we have rejected a derisory offer from them for the player. Curtis remains under contract to us and any approach to him without our approval would be in contravention of EFL rules.”
Argyle confirmed their third signing of pre-season and it is one who fans will have recent -and unpleasant- memories of. 23-year-old central-midfielder Connor Smith has elected to sign for Argyle rather than the Wimbledon side who beat Argyle 2-0 in the play-off final at Wembley. Former Watford player Smith is also known for being the runner-up in Sky One's show Football's Next Star in 2010.
Derek Adams revealed that Yann Songo’o has been the best-kept secret at Home Park in recent months. Songo's who has played with Adams at Ross County before has in fact been training at Argyle for many months. Adams explained the decision to take on the Cameroonian: “Yann came in from Blackburn Rovers on loan while I was at my previous club. He can play in defence or in defensive midfield. He is good on the ball, quick, good in the air and strong in the tackle. His age – 24 - also makes him a good signing. He was with us for a number of months at the end of the season. He will have benefited from being around the place. We have a number of agreements. But we will wait for the contracts to be signed. Come pre-season on July 1, I expect to see a lot of new faces.”
Argyle have confirmed their second signing of the summer, former Blackburn defender Yann Songo'o. Songo'o never really broke through at Blackburn and his most substantial run of first team football came when he was on loan at Derek Adams' Ross County in 2013/14. He has spent a year unattached to any club before signing for Argyle today.
Derek Adams spoke about his first signing of pre-season, Ryan Donaldson, and said he was hoping to make more permanent signings this season than last. He said: "Ryan is an attacking midfield player. A player that knows the league well. He started off at Newcastle, and played in the first team there. He played with Cambridge for the last couple of seasons. He is a player that likes to get on the ball. He is creative, and has good ability. In our team, the way we play, he will be suited to that. We have players in the team that are capable of finding these players with good passes. The creativity from Ryan can help us. He has good energy. In the attacking third of the pitch he will be able to get some goals for us. We've watched him a number of times throughout the season; I've seen him a couple of times at games, as have the rest of the coaching staff. Over the years he has done well, progressed - and this is the next step for him, to come to Argyle and push his career forward. It gives him an opportunity to play at this football club, where we get very good support.
"We have been very active, working on signing new players for next season. Over the next week or two we will have announcements to make about new signings - we'll be busy from that point of view. We have a situation where we were in the play-off final at the end of May; we have to wait until June 30 for some players to give us answers. I've been looking to strengthen the team to replace players leaving the football club. We had a number of loan signings last year, they need to be replaced. We are looking to have more permanent signings this year than we did last year."
Meanwhile, Donaldson himself spoke about what motivated him to join the club: “It has been a long summer trying to get things sorted but as soon as I spoke to the manager and came down here, I just wanted to get it done as soon as possible. Now it’s done so I can look forward to pre-season and meeting all the boys. It’s just the size of the club at this level; it’s one of the biggest clubs without doubt and as soon as I learned of the interest I wanted to come. You don’t get many opportunities like this at a club this size so it was a deal I wanted to get done. I spoke to a few clubs but once I heard there was interest from Plymouth it was just a case of coming down as soon as possible and it was the only offer I listened to in the end to be honest. I am really proud to be here.
“Argyle are a good side. I played against you on the second last game of the season. Both teams were chasing so it was a good game. I’ve spoken to the manager and I know what this club’s about and what his plans are. I’m just really happy to be here and I want to get started. I can fit in anywhere in midfield. I have played almost everywhere there for Cambridge and now I just want to get on the pitch, play with the boys and win some games. I’m hard working; I like to get the ball and create things. I just want to help the team as much as possible wherever I get picked to play. I’ll give my 100 percent every day and hopefully I’ll make a difference. It’s going to be a fresh start for me, but I am looking forward to it. Pre-season is a great time to meet the new players and bond - there is a lot of hard work to be done but it is a great time to get to know everyone.”
Peter Hartley has rejected Argyle's contract extension offer to sign for League One side Bristol Rovers. Hartley spent two years at Argyle with by far his most memorable moment being the header against Portsmouth last month to book Argyle's place at Wembley.
Meanwhile, Argyle confirmed their first signing of the summer in the shape of former Cambridge United midfielder Ryan Donaldson. 25 year old Donaldson, who can play anywhere across the midfield, spent three years at Cambridge following a spell at non-league. He initially broke through in football at Newcastle United and will formally join on July 1st.
James Bittner has also confirmed he will not remain an Argyle player next season following the decision to join Warren Feeney's Newport County where, like at Argyle, he will combine a coaching role with a back-up goalkeeping one.
Argyle have announced the new away kit for next season to compliment the previously confirmed home kit. It can be viewed in full on the Argyle website and will be mainly white with bands of green and black across the chest. The shorts will be white with green trim, likewise the socks.
Argyle also have confirmed their previously 'To Be Announced' friendly against Weymouth on July 23 in a pre-season friendly at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
Argyle target and former loanee Jamille Matt has broken Argyle hearts by signing for Blackpool on a two year deal. Matt enjoyed an immensely successful loan spell at Argyle towards the tail end of last season and fans hopes were raised when he was released by parent club Fleetwood but joined fellow North West side Blackpool today.
Argyle have announced the game which will be their first friendly match of pre-season- away to St Blazey on Saturday July 9th. Argyle's pre-season schedule thus far is as follows: Sat July 9 St BLAZEY Blaise Park, 3pm. Tue July 12 TAVISTOCK Langsford Park, 7.30pm. Wed July 13 BOVEY TRACEY Western Counties Roofing Ground, 7.30pm . Sat July 16 TORQUAY UNITED Plainmoor, 3pm. Tue July 19 TRURO CITY Treyew Road, 7.30pm. Wed July 20 ELBURTON VILLA Haye Road, 7.30pm. Sat July 23 TBA. Tue July 26 MVV MAASTRICHT Stadion de Geusselt, 7pm. Sat July 30 WEST BROMWICH ALBION Home Park, 5.30pm
Argyle have unveiled their kit for next season on the club's official website. The kit has been chosen following supporter consultation and is mainly green with a thick white pinstripe on the front and black trim. The shorts and socks are also green with black trim.
Argyle's Harper’s Park training ground is being given a summer makeover. The club have stated that they will be spending a substantial amount of money on the area adjoining Home Park that contains two full-size pitches, which will result in a major improvement of the playing surface. Drainage is high priority on the list of planned renovations as the pitches have suffered in recent years from the heavy winter rainfall and were said to have been in in "particularly poor condition" last season. The significant investment will also see security at Harper’s considerably improved. Part of the reason for the deterioration of the facility has been caused by trespassing local youngsters using the pitches.
Argyle academy manager Kevin Hodges has said the club's presence in the South West Peninsula League is something which will only become more valuable after their promotion to the Premier Division. The Pilgrims finished second in Division One West in their inaugural season in the league, and were successful in their application for promotion to the top tier. Hodges said of the project: "It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. When I was an apprentice coming through, your main aim was to get into the reserves, but if not you had a game elsewhere on a Saturday. We all had games, which was fantastic. We bought into the league because our boys needed games.
"It's not always been perfect but it's a game for them, and it's worked quite well. We had to go into the lower division, and it wasn't the main goal to get out of that this year, but once we got to January-February and realised it was possible, from a development perspective we realised it was well worth having a go at. There's better quality teams, better pitches and it's going to be more of a challenge for our players. Hopefully in the process more of them will be able to catch the manager's eye."
Reuben Reid re-iterated his opinion that the bad luck of injuries cost Argyle their promotion from League Two this season and was full of praise for new manager Derek Adams. He said: "The way we started the season I thought we were going to walk the league. Even the opposition were saying that – 'you boys will have no problem' – and it got to around Christmas time and things changed for whatever reason. Players lost form and we picked up injuries along the way, and we didn't quite get there. But the manager has come in and he has been a breath of fresh air with how he works. It's consistent. You know what you are going to get from him.
"It's getting tougher because I think the standard of the football is getting a lot better, year on year. I remember I was being loaned from Plymouth to League Two at the start of my career, and that's not the League Two we are playing in now. You have got young guys. It's not just your older professionals getting a game any more. It's going to get harder and harder but the manager will improve us again, I'm sure, and kick on.
"You had me – a respected player for the team, you had Ryan Brunt who came in and had an amazing run of form, and Carl McHugh had his problems along the way. Hiram Boateng had to go back to Palace and Graham Carey had his moments off. If you look at Wimbledon, they have got two like for like people in their squad. If you look at their strikers, come 60 minutes they send on two lads. It's all about squad depth. If we had some luck along the way I think we would have gone up automatically but it's a 46-game season."
Speaking after Argyle's win at Wembley, outgoing loanee Jordon Houghton had confidence in his Argyle teammates to do the business next season in spite of the demoralising loss. Houghton said: "Everybody would say they could have done better. Looking back on it, it's still early days, it's only just happened. It's a tough one to take, but there's enough quality in that dressing room to bounce back. I'm sure the gaffer will make additions and they'll come back stronger than that.
"Coming into the game it felt like a normal game. Everyone was chilled, but maybe there was a few nerves out there," he said. It's natural, there was more than 55,000 people out there and maybe that hindered some performances, but you live and learn.
"I've been very pleased. I've got 10 games, obviously I would have liked to come on today but it's the gaffer's choice, he made the three subs he thought was right for the game and I have no problem with that. I'm grateful to be involved today being involved in this atmosphere, this occasion is only going to help me with my experience.
"If I would have gone back to Chelsea after only 15 games for Gillingham, I'm a much better player now, having played an extra 10. That's 25 games of senior football I've played, as opposed to 15, so I'm definitely a better player for that and I'd like to thank everyone at Argyle for that."
Argyle have announced their released and retained lists in full following the already partially confirmed information that Jake Jervis, Gary Sawyer and Graham Carey had taken up options to extend their contracts and that first year professional contracts under the new development structures have already been offered to five players. In addition to this, Argyle have offered contracts to 13 players. The full list is as follows: Out of contract and offered a new contract: James Bittner, Ryan Brunt, Vincent Dorel, Peter Hartley, Tyler Harvey, Luke McCormick, Carl McHugh, Kelvin Mellor, Curtis Nelson, Ben Purrington, Reuben Reid, Louis Rooney, Gregg Wylde.
Option to extend contract taken up: Graham Carey, Jake Jervis, Gary Sawyer.
Out of contract and released: Callum Hall, Josh Simpson, Deane Smalley.
Loans expired: Hiram Boateng, Jordon Forster, Jordan Houghton, Jamille Matt, Daniel Nardiello, Craig Tanner.
Apprentices offered professional contract: Jack Calver, Owen Jones, Jake Miller, Billy Palfrey, Ben Steer.
Apprentices released: Cory Harvey, Liam Knowles, Jamil Roberts, Jason Vincent.
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