PLYMOUTH Argyle fits Luke McCormick like his nimble hands fit his goalkeeping gloves.After being released by Argyle’s League 2 rivals Oxford United at the end last season, there was only one place the 29-year-old former Pilgrim wanted to head. Fortunately for him, manager John Sheridan was amenable to the idea.
“It’s a great feeling to be back at the club where it all started for me,” he said. “I feel very fortunate to be at, not only such a good club, but a club that I have come to love. It’s a great feeling to be back with an Argyle shirt on.”
“I spoke to John Sheridan, not long after I’d finished at Oxford and asked him if he’d consider me for next season and he said that he was in the market for a goalkeeper and that he would. So I suppose that got the ball rolling.
“There were very few conversations between myself and the club. For me, it was just a case of ‘get me there, get me signed’ because all I want to do is play football for this club, and I am just grateful that people such as the manager and [owner and chairman] James Brent were prepared to give me that opportunity.”
The welcome from the club hierarchy has received echo from among the club’s supporters during the Pilgrims’ pre-season games.
Luke said: “The reaction that I have received has just been absolutely phenomenal, much more than I could ever have wished for, particularly given the circumstances of me returning, and leaving, the club.
“I couldn’t ask for any more in that sense. I’ve had so many people wishing me well, and coming up to shake my hand, which I don’t expect.
“I have just got a huge, huge ‘thank you’ to say to all of the Green Army for making it so easy to settle back in.
“There have quite a few people who have taken a chance on me, and I believe it is taking a chance, and Oxford were brave enough to do that, so to [manager] Chris Wilder and Ian Lenagan, the chairman...I’ve got a lot to thank them for. Without that, I don’t think I’d be sat here with my Argyle t-shirt on.
“I’ll always have a lot of fondness for Oxford United.”
It was with Oxford, last season, that Luke made his first Home Park appearance for nearly five years.
“It was quite a surreal day, to be honest,” he said. “It was the first time I’d been back to Plymouth in quite a long time, so it was taking in the new and the old. Everything around the ground had changed; not so much inside.
“It was really nice to have such a warm welcome and see some old friends who I’d thought of many times over the years. To see them again was nice but, once the match got started, you had to put those things to the back of your mind for 90 minutes, and get on with the game.
“It is a different club, but I was surprised how many familiar faces were still here. That’s nice. It’s still got the ethos of being a very family-orientated club, which is what Plymouth Argyle is all about, as far as I’m concerned.
“Again, a huge ‘thank you’ to the Argyle fans for the way I was received. It is something I will never forget.
“I was a touch nervous, but I went out with the attitude that ‘I have got nothing to lose and everything to gain’. That’s the way I try to do most things. Hopefully, I can just let the football do the talking.”