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 replaced the injured goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne with another loanee from a Premier League club, this time 6 foot 6 giant Matt Macey from Arsenal. Macey joins on a season-long-loan and began his career at Bristol Rovers. The keeper spoke about Argyle in relation to his previous loan spells: "I grew up playing for Bristol Rovers, and warmed up on the [Home Park] pitch with Accrington. I played against them for Luton a couple of years ago. I know the stadium I know what the fans are like as well. The move was out of nowhere because I came from the under 18s at Bristol Rovers. When you get interest from a Premier League club you sort of dismiss it and think it's a joke but it came through! Playing at the Emirates is the highlight of my career so far. Before that I had a couple of loan spells; I think it is time now to have another spell, play some games and try to kick on again in my career. I had a spell at Luton which was great; the next step is League One. The opportunities have come around quite quickly for me and there's no denying that I wanted to come down here and test myself at this level and at such a great club.
"I think in the modern game, you need to be tall you need to move well. Especially at Arsenal they put a lot of emphasis on being able to move well. Those are physical traits I am lucky to have. It would have been ideal if I had more time or games with the boys, but I've done it before where I have just come straight into a team. I have a whole week's training so I'll be working hard this week."
MVV Maastricht made early dominance pay as a spirited Argyle performance for the remainder of the match was not enough to cancel out the early 1-0 lead. Argyle travel home from Holland ready to begin the season Derek Adams spoke positively about the spirited performance: "It was a decent match. A lot of good football was played by both sides. Maastricht passed the ball very well for the first 15-20 minutes. Once we adapted to their style of play the players did really well after that. When you come to a foreign club you have got to realise they are going to play in a different way. Once the players found that out they followed the gameplan and pressed them really well. Maastricht like to get their two centre-halves on the ball and hit long diagonals from side to side to the opposite full-backs, high and wide. They did that quite a bit and once we stopped that happening we did well. Ryan Taylor had a great chance to score, Tafari Moore had two good opportunities and Ryan Edwards had a great one from a header. Graham Carey had a couple of chances as well. We should have scored but we just had to be more clinical."We should have scored a few goals but, overall, I was delighted to get so many players game-time again.. The pitch was fine. It's obviously a difficult surface to get used to, and they train on it and play on it all the time. It was heavily watered when we arrived at the ground. It was 39 degrees and we had drinks breaks in both halves. As we came off the bus it was probably one of the hottest conditions that I have seen one of my games played in."
Planning manager Jon Back has given a progress update on the status of the new grandstand, confirming that everything is going according to plan. Back also detailed changes made to the application, such as the moving of a control room and changing the length of the new roof. Back explained: "All the work that we are doing is all the work that we intended to do. It is called the enabling contract for the reason that it enables all the main work to continue. The same machinery that will take the roof off the grandstand will also help to chew up the front of the terrace which needs to be re-profiled to bring it in line with contemporary standards. It's not that there is a delay or we have taken a decision not to do anything at this stage. It's that it's following a set sequence and we are where we expect to be. We have had a large professional team working on this project now for probably 18 months. Quietly behind the scenes, we have had quantity surveyors, architects and construction specialists looking at what we need to do. The first set of designs that went out to consultation, and were then submitted for the original planning permission to be granted, were very much architect sketch plans on what the design will look like. As we now move to the main construction and build of the project the contract that we are working with is on a design and build basis. So we turn the design into a functioning operational building. We are virtually walking through every room thinking how it is going to be used on a matchday, and on a non-matchday, of course, because the overarching objective of the project is to boost the non-matchday income, and to make sure that it works for us. Ninety to ninety-five per cent of the changes that we are seeing, that have gone through as a minor material amendment, are effectively the move from design sketch basis to something that we can physically build."
"It's both fine tuning and it's completely planned. There is nothing that we are doing at the moment that we did not expect to be doing. The architect's drawings were a representation of what we were seeking to achieve. We then need to finesse it and to fine tune it to make sure that it works in practice. There has been an astonishing amount of work that has gone on behind closed doors in the stadium. We have seen hundreds of tons of rubble taken away from the top end where we had the old club offices to make sure that site is level. We have seen the construction of some pretty robust pillars to maintain our art deco facade, and now the building of the shop and ticket office. They are modular buildings and will last for 30 years-plus. There has been an enormous amount of work on the services to support that – the gas, the electric, the drainage and the water. All of that has had to happen before we can start bringing stuff over the ground. Down at the bottom end of the site, the Far Post Club has completely gone and that was a huge undertaking. We took down a number of very old buildings, some of which we knew contained asbestos so we had to tread carefully with. There were no surprises. Everything was as we expected but it took its time. Those have all gone and, again, hundreds of tons of earth and rubble have been taken away and the ground levelled to prepare for the build of our new supporters' facility down there."
"As you looked at the grandstand from the pitch view we had the control room on the far left hand side. That saw an extension of the roof above it, but it gave no other protection to fans and no other seating accommodation. Also, it gave quite a poor view from the control room. So the decision that we took is to move the control room on a relatively temporary basis to the corner where it now sits. That allows us to build a better grandstand with better views for fans in the next phase. Putting the control room there now and integrating it into the grandstand would have caused us problems for fans for the future. If you are being straightforward, it also affects sight-lines. Whilst I know there is some disappointment that symmetrically it doesn't go to the end, it is for the long-term benefit of the club and supporters."
Argyle have lost 2-1 to top Dutch side Feynoord as the Netherlands tour continues. The youthful home side went 2-0 up in the opening half but an excellent late goal from Ruben Lameiras cut Argyle's deficit.
Our West of England derby at Bristol Rovers in September will kick-off at 1.30pm. The match at the Memorial Stadium, on Saturday, September 8, is our fourth away fixture of the new League One campaign.
Harry Burgoyne is to return early from Argyle's pre-season camp in the Netherlands after suffering a broken ankle in training. Goalkeeper Burgyone, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, turned the ankle in Tuesday morning's session with fellow goalkeepers Kyle Letheren and Michael Cooper, and goalkeeping coach Rhys Wilmot.
Peter Grant is the latest player to wax lyrical about the benefits of the Argyle training regieme, particularly with regard to the pre-season tour in the Netherlands. The defender said: " It's been good; it's been hot. Everybody's really enjoyed it and looking forward to the games coming up, as well. The amount of games we have over here will only be beneficial for us and set us in good stead for going back home and get us geared up for the Walsall game. When you're with each other 24/7, I think that gets the bond of the group a lot tighter and we get to know each other a lot quicker, as well. It's a great time for us to come away; obviously the weather's good as well. It's perfect training conditions for us to come out and work on our game-plans and on what the manager and the staff expect from us this season, but everybody's looking forward to getting ourselves geared up for the games. Everybody's pulling in the right direction; there's a good team spirit about us here. We want to work hard; we want to do well. We want to be as competitive as we can this season and that comes from putting the hard work in, in pre-season."
Argyle have began their annual tour of the Netherlands with a 1-0 victory over German part-time outfit SV Schermbeck with a late 90th minute goal from Callum Dyson securing the win.
Returning CEO Michael Dunford gave an update on Argyle's season-ticket sales for the season, revealing that they were once again up on last year. Dunford explained: "We are just approaching 6,000 season tickets sold and we are about four per cent up on this time last year. On top of that we have got another 1,400 members, either the Flexi or 1886 tickets, so we are encouraged at the moment. Obviously we would like more and there is still an opportunity for people to come and buy season tickets. Any increase on last year is gratefully received and we hope that trend continues. "The capacity is 12,770, which includes the visitors but takes out the segregated area. We could have quite a few sell-outs so the value of a season ticket will increase considerably. "You can imagine there is going to be quite a clamour for tickets. If we are doing well, which we all hope we will be, and having a capacity set at that level I think we could have half-a-dozen sell-outs, maybe more. I would like to thank everybody who has renewed, which gives the club a great boost leading into the new season. I would also remind people to buy their tickets early, rather than leave it until a matchday. Whether you are a season ticket holder, or you buy on a match to match basis, it's vitally important to the club that we get as many people in the stadium as possible to support Derek and the players. If we get off to a good start then I'm certain the club memberships – the Flexi Six, the Flexi Eight or the 1886 – there will be an additional clamour for those as well because they are proving very popular."
After a summer of speculation, it has been revealed that young professional Alex Battle has put pen to paper on a new contract with Argyle. The youngster said of his own progression: "This is the hardest leap; it's a bigger leap than it was from the apprentices. I'll just get back in training and go again; try and get stronger and fitter; and try and get into the first team as quick as I can. Now I'm at Argyle, I'll just get my head down and play football; now, it's just about improving my all-round game."
Derek Adams blasted Argyle's performance in the 5-1 humbling by Yeovil as being nowhere near the required standard as Arrgyle prepare to go into the new season. He bemoaned the lack of adequate defending as Argyle shipped five goals: "We were shocking, from start to finish. Our defending was abysmal and the will to try and score a goal wasn't good enough, either. We had a 20-minute spell where we could have scored three goals and we didn't take it but, defensively, we were all over the place today – midfield and up front, as well. We didn't play well. Our passing was slow and we didn't do the things we can do. We didn't defend well enough; we didn't close the shots well enough on the edge of the box and some of the goals we lost were really poor; our finishing has to be improved, and finding that final pass, as well. We've got to take all the responsibility in the defeat and not give Yeovil too much credit, because we were really, really poor. Collectively, of the players we used today, we didn't have one good performance. We contributed to our downfall. Yeovil didn't play well – it was us that played badly. We have still got two weeks to go and we have still got a lot of hard work to do. You always get a wake-up call when you lose as many goals. You have got to look at it and do a lot better than we did today, obviously. The goals we conceded were terrible goals. It doesn't really matter what people say at this moment in time. It's when the league campaign gets going that's what really matters – once the league campaign gets going is when you get judged."
Adams also gave fitness updates on the recovery of Ryan Taylor and Antoni Sarcevic who are still suffering from injuries obtained towards the tail end of last season. He said: "Ryan Taylor's coming along well. He's started to blend himself into full-time training with the squad, so we'll step that up next week. Sarcevic is a week behind him. When we come back from Holland, he'll join in with the squad, as well. We've got three games while we're in Holland and I think it's important we get ourselves back to what we're good at. We'll work hard in those games and come back and be ready for first game of the season."
Argyle's winning run of games in pre-season juttered to a dramatic halt with a 5-1 loss away to League Two Yeovil Town. The home side went two up after just eight minutes and a Joel Grant reply was not enough to prevent a further three goals from Yeovil. Some good chances went begging and Argyle fell to a sobering defeat.
Another Argyle 'incoming' this summer, returning CEO Michael Dunford gave his early impressions of returning to the club and getting to know his new workforce, saying: "It's been hectic but thoroughly enjoyable. I've been made to feel very welcome as you would expect. The first couple of days is just a case of bedding in and talking to members of the staff, understanding how the club now ticks because it is a different club to which I left nine years ago. There's a good attitude within the workforce, they're good people and very professional as well which is encouraging so hopefully we can build on that. When I was appointed I think that was one of the reasons I got the job," he said. "I'll bring that wisdom and experience to the benefit of Plymouth Argyle and the staff. I feel I can encourage the staff and build them as well to be more professional, so they can progress and so they can see a plan of succession within the club. The board are equally keen to see that as well.
"If the first two days are any indication then I hope we can create something special here. Hopefully we can get smiles on the faces of the public and the staff as well. We've already sold 6,000 season tickets, we haven't kicked a ball yet in a competitive game yet. I'm confident that Derek and his team will make the supporters proud again and it's nice to be part of that. When I wake up in the morning I want to go to work and having spoken to other members of staff they very much feel the same way. It's a special place, it's a special club and hopefully special things are ahead of us."
A first half blast of goals was enough to secure Argyle a comfortable victory in North Devon as the greens beat Bideford 3-0 with goals from Ryan Edwards, Gregg Wylde and Joel Grant, all of whom had already netted this pre-season. Derek Adams praised Ryan Edwards particularly, whose solid performance and goal were further testament to the excellent way he has bounced back since his battle with testicular cancer. He said: "Ryan Edwards is up there with everybody else; he's perfectly fine, he's trained exceptionally well. Fitness in-game doesn't look a problem and he doesn't look as if he's been away. He's the same person who was here last season. That's testament to him, he's a strong character, he's worked ever so hard over the summer, and he's put himself in a very good position. To be in the situation he was in, to be where he is now and not notice any difference, is testimony to him. He's obviously had a great deal to effect himover a number of months; he hasn't shown that to anyone and that's great for him. He can be a leader; I thought this was a role for him to come back into to say 'welcome back'. It's great to have him back. At this stage of the season it's just about playing 90 minutes and getting that game time in. It's not easy for the players because the pitch is very dry, it's very difficult to get the ball down, we had been to Torquay last night and you've seen how good a pitch that was, so that's the difficulty."
Tafari Moore has heralded the usual the usual indicators of what most new signings say in their first season with the greens- that there are no harder taskmasters than Derek Adams when it comes to a tiring pre-season. Moore also said however that it would be worth every minute of the effort proclaiming: "Games are coming around really fast. We had Torquay the other day - they are a good side - we played today, we have Yeovil on Saturday. The games are coming around really fast. The season is coming, and we want to be ready for that so every game we play we are trying to play hard. The gaffer has said when we are playing he wants us to make runs, get in behind. This is pre-season, so this is the time to get the fitness. Even if you are tired, you get through it because this is what it is about - coming to the season and firing. The fact that everyone wants to be in the starting 11 is good. It is healthy competition; we are pushing each other. We are all mates, but we are footballers and we want to be playing. It is healthy for the team. People play in different styles, which can be used in different games. We've got a good group of boys and I think this season is going to go really well. I am believing. From the first time we started doing ball work I thought to myself: 'Yeah, man - this team can really play!' Everyone knows what they are doing. As soon as we started playing football in training I was thinking to myself: 'Yeah man – I have come to the right place'."
Conor Grant echoed similar sentiments: "We are going to be spending a lot of time with each other; we do not want to be travelling away from home and losing games - we want to be winning them. We want to gain momentum and we are a team that are basically family so we need to work for each other and make sure we are backing each other and winning games. In pre-season I just take it by game or by day. You just have to be ready - everyday has been pretty tough. It has been a good build up; the first couple were fitness really - they are all fitness - now it is more game practise. "We are going to be spending a lot of time with each other; we do not want to be travelling away from home and losing games - we want to be winning them. We want to gain momentum and we are a team that are basically family so we need to work for each other and make sure we are backing each other and winning games. In pre-season I just take it by game or by day. You just have to be ready - everyday has been pretty tough. It has been a good build up; the first couple were fitness really - they are all fitness - now it is more game practise."
Argyle have been drawn against Chelsea U21s for the second year running in the Checkatrade Trophy group stage, along with Newport County and Swindon Town. We will play each team in our group once, with the top two teams to advance. Specific fixtures, including whether we play home or away, will be announced in due course.
Argyle continued their winning build-up to the upcoming League One season with Graham Carey's second half goal securing a 1-0 win in the (as usual) competitively fought pre-season affair at Torquay United. Argyle had a number of chances throughout but only one found the net. Derek Adams said of the game: "I thought we were very good tonight, I thought the way we passed the ball and created chances, over the 90 minutes it was a very good performance. We played exceptionally well at times, we moved the ball, we created numerous opportunities, and we could have scored a lot more. At this stage of the season it's going to be that way. It's nearly three weeks to go until the first game of the season but I'm happy with the performance because we played the majority of the players for 90 minutes, and that's important. Torquay obviously changed a good few of their players so we just kept on going. That was always the plan, to give the players an extended run, we have two games this week so the rest of them will get game time at Bideford then we've got Yeovil on Saturday. It's important at this stage of the pre-season we got 90 minutes under their belt. It suited us, the way we passed the ball and kept possession and opened Torquay up at the times we could because they were very difficult to break down. They went from a three at the back to a five at the back, at times it was difficult to find space. I thought everybody was very good on the ball, its important that we have that in our team because we have got players that can open up opposition defences as we have seen tonight."
Derek Adams spoke of Argyle's pre-season campaign transitioning towards a more urgent tone with the 5-1 demolition of Tavistock leading towards a step up in opposition as Argyle face Torquay next. Adams said: "It was another game for us, supporting the local community," said manager Derek Adams, following Saturday's 5-1 win over Tavistock in which Graham Carey's two early penalties were supplemented by goals from Freddie Ladapo – who also hit the woodwork twice; Ruben Lameiras; and Joel Grant. We're nearly done doing that – we have spent two weeks trying to help everyone about, give them the revenue that they require to go forward. It gives our supporters in all these different areas the chance to see the first-team players; it gives kids that don't get the opportunity to see every day at Home Park. It's been a good couple of weeks for us. It's finished now. We've got three weeks to go to the campaign and the real work starts on Tuesday night against Torquay. It's a beautiful playing surface; it's one of the best that we always go to. We always enjoy going there; it's always a lively game; tough opposition – it doesn't matter what division they are in. We've played some good games, done well, scored goals, but we do need now, to play against opposition that is going to test us. I don't draw any conclusions from these games. I just allow the players to go and express themselves, allow them to play the way that they want to play – once these two weeks have finished, then they will play the way we want them to play. That's the difference."
"We've played 4-2-3-1; we've played 4-3-3; and now we've played with three at the back with two strikers. It was just something I was going to do throughout pre-season. We did that for the first half; we changed it 4-3-3 for the second half. It is something we might need to do during the season and it gives players an understanding of that system. I think it is important that we do have competition and, throughout the games, when we have changed the squads around a bit, there hasn't been a real change in performance levels."
Freddie Ladapo said that, as tough as Argyle's gruelling pre-season regieme has been, it has been no less than he expected when signing up to join the club. The striker stated: "I think it has been very tough, it's probably the toughest pre-season I've had; training everyday, high intensity, high tempo. The hardship of it actually builds a stronger bond with everyone because everyone is feeling the same pain and everyone had to go through it and pick each other up together so I'm enjoying it at the minute. The physio told me when I was doing my medical and everyone told me 'it's going to be a tough one for you'. You always know pre-season is hard anyway, but when you come down to it, no matter where it is, you're always going to say "why do I have to go through it?" but I'm enjoying it."
"The manager has seen what he has, what shapes he can work with and what suits this team well and as long as we are there doing and showing what he wants to see then that's all we are concerned about. Especially in League One with the amount of games that you do play, you need to be very fit to endure that long season. I think the season is what you make it, like the first half of the last season when they were down at the bottom, it was through their work and effort, so when they changed things it was still through their work and effort. Hopefully this season we can carry on the process of doing well and take from last year and build on it from this year. Pre-season has felt quite short and in three weeks I hope we are all raring to go and all fit and ready- which I think we will be."
"It's a lot easier when you're one of ten rather than one of two because people have to take on to everyone, you're not just trying to squeeze into one place, everyone's trying to squeeze in. When we first joined, we were all in a hotel together, so you do build that bond with them straight away before you even get into the team. In previous places I've gone to, like up in Manchester, the weather is completely different," he said. "I came here and it's exactly the same as London so it's not that different, other than not being around family and things like that. That's the sacrifice you have to make and I think I am more than ready to do it here. My main focus is to keep being in the right areas, keep creating chances and obviously I do want to score. I don't want to be hitting the post so it was good to score and it just shows that I've got a little bit more work to be doing. I like being up there, creating chances and being a threat. I think you can see in my matches that I do really want to be there and me making that move here is because I do want to succeed in my football career and I really want it to set off at Plymouth."
Argyle's winning run in pre-season continued with the first team winning 5-1 away to Tavistock. The home side took the lead early on but two Graham Carey penalties put Argyle into the lead going in to half-time. Goals from Ladapo, Lameiras and Joel Grant completed the rout for Argyle. Our development squad also wracked up a 5 goal victory, winning 5-0 at Helston on the same day.
Argyle have kept their winning run to pre-season going with a 6-0 win at non league Torpoint Athletic on Tuesday night. As in the game against Parkway, Argyle played two different elevens in each half. We won the first half 1-0 with a Ruben Lameiras goal and the second 5-0 with goals from Ladapo, Carey, Fox and a double from Wylde. Derek Adams said of the game: "It's beneficial for them; we've taken the full first team here. 'We understand the difficulties that they've had at this moment in time due to the weather. Good weather, but bad weather for pitches. The players tried their best and they kept possession of the ball. It was difficult for them at times to find that intricate pass through but in the end we've come here to generate some extra money for Torpoint."
Adams also feels that two of his central midfielders will be of paramount importance in determining how Argyle do this season. He spoke of Jamie Ness and David Fox respectively, saying: He missed it right at the very start and missed the trip to Holland but now he's been part of things all the way through. He's worked very hard over the summer period and he's come back fit and he's completed all the training sessions which has been good. He's been in the gym working hard and that's why his fitness level is what it is just now. He's moving well and he's making good tackles and good interceptions, passes the ball and he's there to do that for us. He's led the team which was beneficial for all of us."
"He's been here for two years and enjoyed his time here. Sometimes when you've been at a football club that's done well for you, then you want to repay them and he's done that. He has good possession, makes good passes, and is an experienced member of the squad. He's done the whole of pre-season with the rest of the squad and he's competed well with them. We don't do easy pre-season and he's come through that very well."
Meanwhile, Adams also admitted that goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne is one that he has had his eyes on for some time, yet that he has not yet decided who will start the season as number one keeper. He explained: "We've had an eye on him. We did a bit of work to do it but they've been looking to get him out on loan. They treat him highly; they played him in the first team last season. He played against Liverpool in the FA Cup; he played in the league as well. I think that himself and Kyle have good competition, and Michael Cooper as well comes through the ranks. I haven't made that choice at this moment in time, but we've got three goalkeepers fighting for that position."
The players have started to echo their manager's words on the hard nature of pre-season, with winger Gregg Wylde admitting that they had been put well and truly through the paces. Wylde said: "The manager loves our long-distance running. We have done 1200s, 800s, 600s and it has been beneficial to me because I like long distance running. I've enjoyed every single minute of it. Get your legs up and down with a little bit of pace and it makes my game up as well. I think we can be up there; maybe being the fittest team in our league as we saw last year because we did really well. I think if we keep doing what we are doing we will be fine."
Argyle have announced that Home Park will host Plymouth's only mass screening of England's World Cup semi-final against Croatia on Wednesday night. The Three Lions bid to make only their second ever World Cup final, and with the excitement being felt across the country for this huge event, Argyle have teamed with Plymouth City Council to provide a public venue for the game to be broadcast. Two big screens will be quickly erected at Home Park so that families and friends can enjoy the occasion together. Entry will be completely free of charge and should England be victorious, the event will be repeated for the final on Sunday. The game kicks off at 7pm; gates will open from 5.30pm. Several blocks of the Lyndhurst stand will be open, and tickets are strictly limited. Seating will be unreserved.
Argyle's pre-season game at Callington, initially scheduled for Wednesday July 11th, has been moved to Tuesday July 31st on account of its clash with England's World Cup semi-final clash with Croatia. The game will now be the last friendly before the season starts at Walsall on August 4th.
Upon his happy return to the Argyle team, defender Ryan Edwards spoke of the hard work he has put in over the summer to ensure he gets back to perfect fitness after his upturn in health. He said: "My pre-season started the day I got the good news because I missed half a season and I had to come back hitting the ground running; my fitness levels had to be up there. I've worked harder than I would do any other summer and I think it's paid off. I knew what was coming, so I had a lot of time to train over the summer, which is what I've done. I usually get my rest in after playing so many games. I think it's all come to my advantage – check the fitness levels on the scoreboards in the dressing-room and I'll be right up there. I'm delighted with the progress I've made since April. I said I'd be back stronger and I feel stronger and I feel as fit as I ever have been. My fitness levels are really high; my strength levels are really high. It was great to be back to normal, back on the grass with the boots on; not just training but getting minutes in, proper minutes. You can train as much as you want but the only thing that gets you match-fit is minutes, and it's important we keep getting them in, especially me – I've missed a lot of football."
"I've always said it – the delivery you've got in this team, as a centre-half, off set-pieces, you are always going to get chances. I've said to the new lads here that the likes of Foxy , Graham, Gregg as it was today, are, nine times out of ten, going to put it where you want it and it's up to you to put it in the back of the net. That's what I've done."
"We knew there were going to be changes and what it has done is brought extra competition this year. I think there are two in every position almost and it's up to you – if you get the shirt, you've got to keep it. You've got to get the shirt first and that's my aim. It's not about me coming back from illness and getting straight back into it – I'm not going to get given the shirt; I've got to earn it, especially with the lads that have come in. They are all good players and I know I've got a fight on my hands. What I will say is that I'm ready and I will be ready for August 4, and I'll do everything I can to get that shirt and then keep it. We only been in for ten days but it feels like we've been together for a month – they've settled in really quickly. We've got a good bunch of lads and they make people feel welcome, as they did with me last year. You need that tightness together. It's a long season and you need everyone."
Meanwhile, manager Derek Adams spoke about the importance of regaining freshness as Argyle played their first game after coming back for pre-season training. He said: "I was happy with the run-out. We've obviously played 11 in the first half and 11 in the second half just to get the legs going and to get a game, and it's served that purpose. I think we've got nearly 2,000 here today, which was good. For both sides, it was hugely beneficial. The heat has not impacted us at all. We have just got on with it and worked very hard, and the players are in very good shape. The players have benefited but we have still got a lot of games to play in pre-season and a lot of training to do."
Meanwhile, Adams mentioned those players who missed training due to injuries carrying over from the end of last season: Ryan Taylor, Antoni Sarcevic and Kyle Letheren. Adams explained: "They haven't recovered from their injuries from last season so we're just waiting for them to come back. They are still with the physio team. We are only a week into pre-season training and they will be ready to play games. We have got one more signing to do that will probably be a central midfield player. There is nothing close at this moment in time but we have got players we are speaking to."
Argyle's first pre-season match has ended with a victory against Plymouth Parkway at Bolitho Park. Goals from Conor and Joel Grant were sandwiched by Gary Sawyer and (on his comeback from testicular cancer) Ryan Edwards, as Argyle won the game 4-2. Argyle fielded two different teams for each half ensuring 22 players got a run out.
Argyle have announced another pre-season friendly during our pre-season training camp in the Netherlands. For the second time in three years, we will take on MVV Maastricht. The game will take place almost two years to the day when we won there in pre-season 2016. This year's game will be on Friday, July 27, at 8pm local time, 7pm in the UK. MVV came seventh last season in the Eerste Divisie, which is the Dutch equivilent to the Championship.
Monday's scheduled Fans' Forum with the Board of Directors has been postponed. Argyle announced that the decision has been taken reluctantly because of a relatively low level of interest in the event and only a small number of questions having been received from supporters and that they would endeavour to find a date and time that is closer to the start of the new season.
New boy Peter Grant rejected comparisons to his former Celtic defender father Peter Grant, and insisted he was his own man heading into the new season with Argyle. He said: "Look, mine and my dad's careers are completely separate," he said. "The thing that my dad does is guide me and he's there for advice. At the end of the day, the Peter Grant who was at Celtic: that's his career and this is my career at Argyle, this is the club that I play for and this is the club that I want to do well for. I want to do well for the manager, for my teammates and for the fans. Hopefully all that together can add to the group and I hope all in all it brings success come this time next year. Me and my dad are completely different players and positions; my dad was a competitive midfielder. I can't remember watching him live, as I was so young but from watching the videos I can tell how much it meant to him to play for Celtic. He gave 110% every single time he played, and that was the same in training too. I feel that I've taken that on too, try and give my best every day in training, I try and improve and I want to be the best player in training, and I want to be the best defender and that's what I want to try and do at Plymouth. Obviously, he's achieved so much in his footballing and coaching career and to have someone like that to bounce off of and get advice from, especially with me becoming a footballer it is massive. To have someone like that to show you the ropes from such a young age; to show you how to go about things right from the start, trying to live your life the best you can to give yourself the best opportunity. My dad has had a massive influence on me and he's always guided me in the right way. If I could emulate the career he's had, and just I general then I would be very happy. From a personal point of view, to know that I've scored in a Scottish cup final is something I will always cherish. It's an amazing achievement, but it's a bittersweet day, losing the game in the end. I'm well prepared I've played in big games: Rangers, Hearts, Hibs, and Cup Finals, so I feel I'm well equipped to put my stamp on the league down here. I'm looking forward to producing in big games but first and foremost my aim is to get in the team, stay there, and hopefully get this club back to where I feel it belongs. I had a spell at Peterborough; I ended up in the first team group when they were in the Championship, so from that experience I know how tough it is already, I've been involved, and so I know how tough it is. I actually followed Plymouth last year because of the Scottish manager, and some of the Scottish players, so I know how demanding it is to play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday - and over Christmas and Easter. Scotland isn't as much as that. I've got that temperament that I want to try and improve all the time and I want to make myself the best footballer I can. That talent is from my dad and that is one of my attributes to help me succeed."
Plymouth Argyle's impressive form in the second half of the 2017/18 season played a big part in former Arsenal defender Tafari Moore joining the club. Moore made fans aware, saying: "My agent told me that Plymouth were interested and then two days later I got a call from the manager Derek Adams and he said to me that they were interested in me. He said they liked me as a player and they want good people and to build the squad. This team has ambitions from how they did last season, they were probably the best team in the second half of the season. From hearing that and the way that he Derek Adams was speaking, I caught a positive vibe.Even though it is on the phone, I can tell if I get along with them and if they can help me out. It was the chance to play. That is all that matters to me to be honest, I will play anywhere if it is the right move for me. Playing well will help me improve, so for me to move to Plymouth wasn't a hard decision. There has been plenty of debate over the years about what is the best pathway for young footballers to take. Since I have left Arsenal, I knew I needed to play football. Going to another big club and being in the same situation, the place I am in now, I need to be playing football."
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Harry Burgyone spoke about his relationship with the other Argyle keepers as they prepared for the season ahead, as he said: "It is massively important to have a good relationship with the other goalkeepers because the only way we can all better each other is if work close to each other and give each other advice," said Burgoyne. I will be learning things off of Kyle obviously being as experienced as he is but I will be learning stuff off Coops as well. I would like to think likewise as well and as long as we are helping each other every day I am sure it will be a great year for all of us. The key to having a successful team and a successful campaign is all about team bonding and I think that when we go away to Holland at the end of the month it will be really good to see everyone every day and just get to know the lads and getting a good bond for the season ahead. "As soon as I found out that there was interest I spoke to Joe Mason, who obviously played down here and loves it down here and is a bit of a local legend. "The only person I spoke to from the current squad before I came down was Nessy. We share the same agency, so he spoke to me and I felt welcomed straight away. The lads are all getting to know each other and we are beginning to click really well. It is massively important that we all start the season as a team and as a squad."
Argyle's Carabao Cup first round tie away to Bristol City is confirmed for Tuesday, August 14. Kick-off, as we face City in the opening round of the competition for the second season in a row, will be at 7.45pm.
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