REUBEN Reid made his debut for the Pilgrims as a teenager nearly seven years ago and played 11 further times for the Greens in the following 14 months.Bristolian Reuben, now 24, came to Home Park after shining as sporting youngster at Millfield School, having turned down the chance of a first-class cricket career with Gloucestershire.
Tony Pulis handed him his first Argyle appearance in the last Championship game of the 2005-06 season, a 2-1 victory over Ipswich Town when he came on as substitute for Greens legend Michael Evans in Michael’s last match.
Five more games as a substitute followed before he made his full debut for Ian Holloway in a memorable 1-0 win at Coventry, where he partnered Nick Chadwick up front.
Following a loan spell to Kidderminster, he returned to Home Park and featured in four matches at the start of 2007 before finishing the season on loan at Torquay.
His final appearance in his first spell with the Greens came in a League Cup victory over Doncaster at Home Park at the start of the 2007-08 campaign, after which he was loaned to Wycombe and Brentford before being released by Paul Sturrock.
His stop-start Argyle career had seen him make four starts and eight substitute appearances. Interestingly, only one of those dozen games ended in defeat for the Pilgrims.
Reuben’s career really took off after he signed for Rotherham United in the summer of 2008 and went on to score 19 goals in all competitions, earning a move to Championship side West Brom.
First Spell:Reuben in his first spell as a Pilgrim in 2007
Faced with stiff competition for a starting berth at the Hawthorns, Reuben failed to nail down a regular starting place and, after a loan at Peterborough, he moved on loan to Walsall scoring the winning goal in a 2-1 against Argyle on his debut at the Banks’s Stadium in August 2010.
In January 2011, he was transferred to Oldham Athletic and was a regular until September last season, when a thigh injury interrupted his progress.
Last summer, he signed a two-year deal with League 1 Yeovil Town and scored six goals from 11 starts, including two in a 4-2 League Cup victory against former club West Brom, before his loan to Home Park.
Back where it all began, Reuben responded to manager John Sheridan's faith in him with a series of manful performances, often as the lone striker, and a couple of vital goals.
“I would play for the manager any day of the week,” said Reuben, after the final game of last season at Rochdale.
“I trust him as a human being, aside from football.
“I’ve played a role completely different from what I’ve done before. I’m glad I’ve played the role because – if this makes sense – I’ve learnt something else to my game now. I’ve proved there’s another side to me.
Back Again:Reuben celebrates a win at Home Park
“Normally I would float around – maybe I’d not run around so much but I’d get on the scoresheet or set someone up – but I’ve effectively learned to play a new position.
“I would have liked the Plymouth fans to see maybe a leaner, sharper Reuben with a few more goals, but the job’s done, so I’m happy.”
With 47 goals from 225 appearances, and still only 24, Reuben will be eager to live up to the plaudits handed him by Ian Holloway after his full debut.
“I’ve got no doubts whatsoever that he will make himself a player,” said Ollie, six years ago, “a very, very good centre-forward.
“I’ve no doubt he will develop into a fantastic centre-forward - if he doesn’t, it will be his own fault.”