CONOR Hourihane still thanks his lucky stars for the day that Peter Reid offered him the chance to come to Home Park.The Argyle captain admits being wet behind the ears when joined the Pilgrims in July 2011, after being released from Ipswich Town, with the club in the middle of a gruelling period of administration.
Since then, his fortunes have followed the same up-curve as that of Argyle, to the point where a strong finish to Sky Bet League 2 season – starting on Good Friday at Bury – will see them qualify for the play-offs.
“I can’t describe to you how good this move has been for me,” said the 23-year-old Corkonian. “Starting off, I had poor discipline and inexperience, where I didn’t know the league or what to do at the right times. That’s gradually gone away. It’s something that people mentioned to me and I didn’t really like it, so I had to put that right.
“The first year, I was finding my feet. I played quite a lot of games, but we had no players so I had to play, whether I was good enough or not.
“In the second year, I had the captaincy at a young age, so I had to grow up a lot quicker. The second half of the season was strong for me.
“This season, I’ve added a bit of consistency, which is important, and [I have] set more goals for myself, to beat last year’s [scoring] record. I suppose playing every week, and getting bigger and stronger, is important as well.
“There have been a couple of performances lately which I haven’t been too happy with – the home games against Exeter and Oxford – but you can’t play well every week; y don’t go out and want to play badly. It’s something to put right on Friday.
“The last 18 months, when I’ve got the captaincy, I’ve had to grow up. The lads have to look to me as their captain. It’s not all about putting the armband on at 3pm; it’s about doing things on and off the pitch for the lads. It’s something that I enjoy.
“This move has been fantastic for me and it’s not over yet. I want to keep playing and keep achieving goals here and getting Argyle out of the league.That’s something I want to do.”