MORE than 18 years after he made his Plymouth Argyle debut, Paul Wotton has re-signed for his home-town club.Wottsy, who will be nearly 36 when the 2013-14 season starts in August, has sealed a one-year extension to his current contract that expires in June.
As part of the deal, and with one eye on the future, Paul will also work in the club’s Youth Academy set-up, as Senior Professional Development Coach.
“I’m thrilled,” said Wottsy.
“I’m really enjoying my football; I’m still enjoying my training; and I’m really happy.
“The important thing is that the body feels really, really good.”
Wottsy has made 475 appearances for the Greens, placing him third on the list of Pilgrims who have played the most games for the club.
He is just 16 behind second-placed Sammy Black. If he plays in half of Argyle’s matches next season, he will become only the second Green to reach 500 appearances, behind current Academy head Kevin Hodges.
Although those targets are not at the forefront of Wottsy’s mind, playing remains his number one priority.
He said: “I’m like every other player – I want to play in the first team on a Saturday, and I will be doing everything I can to get in the team.
“At the same time, I have got a role in the Academy which I am looking forward to.
“I have been doing some work in the Academy anyway, and I’m like 90% of all footballers – I want to go into coaching when I finish playing – so it’s a great chance for me to learn about the day-to-day running of football.
“People will find it hard to believe, but there’s so much I don’t know about that. It’s quite easy being a player - you just train and go home.
“I would like to think that, after 600 games, I have something to pass on to the next generation of Argyle players.
“To sum it all up, it’s a dream job.
“The coaching will fit in around the playing, not the other way around, although I’m excited by both.”
Paul made his debut at Shrewsbury in February 1995 and spent 14 seasons with the club before being released.
After spells at Southampton, Oxford and Yeovil, he returned to Home Park in January last year to help the Pilgrims avoid relegation to the Blue Square Conference.
Despite back problems last season, he made 20 appearances and played a crucial part in the season’s run-in as Argyle once again held on to their Football League.
“Pre-season will be here before we know it,” he said. “It’ll be my 20th pre-season. I look forward it; to some new faces coming in; the new kit - stupid little things.
“I don’t want to say that I can’t wait, because I’m enjoying the rest, but I’m optimistic about the new season, that’s for sure.”