NEW Argyle signing Anthony O’Connor...
...might have arrived relatively late to the Pilgrims’ party, but he has come fired with ambition for himself and his new team-mates.
The Blackburn Rovers defender trained with John Sheridan’s squad for the first time on Tuesday – just four days before the Sky Bet League 2 season kicks off – following his half-season loan at Home Park.
Anthony, 21, has made 80 League 2 appearances following loans at Burton Albion, in 2012-13, and Torquay United, last season.
“I’ve played a lot of games in League 2 and I would have liked to be playing at Blackburn now,” said the 6ft 2in Irishman, “but it wasn’t to be and Plymouth came calling. It’s a massive club and I didn’t have to think twice about it.
“The gaffer at Blackburn said he’d had a few ’phone calls about me and he mentioned Plymouth. As soon as I heard him say ‘Plymouth’, it was something I was very interested in. To be honest, there wasn’t much to think about. I tried to get it sorted as soon as I could and, thankfully, I’m here now.
“I want to come here and get more games – I’m not here to make up the numbers; I’m here to get on the pitch and give everything for the club.
“I like to think I’ve got a bit of everything. I’ve been at Blackburn a long time, so I’ve been brought up the right way. I like the physical side of the game and I also like playing football.
“One thing I will bring is a bit of commitment. In the two loan spells I’ve had, at Burton and Torquay, I was 100% committed, and I think I did really well. Hopefully, I can bring that here to Plymouth.”
Anthony, who has eight Ireland Under-21 caps, is aware that his new gaffer has set the bar high in terms of Argyle’s aims for the new campaign, with the top seven being a minimum target.
“I think that has got to be the expectation of a club like this,” he said. “Where the club is, in terms of leagues, doesn’t do it any justice. I think the club should be a lot higher – at least League 1. There has to be no less expectation than being in the play-offs.
“If it was down to me, I’d be saying we should be pushing for automatic promotion, but it’s a long season ahead, a long journey, and I’ve experienced that anything can happen in this league – you can have three results go your way, then three results not go your way.
“But I’ll be doing everything to give my bit to the club and hopefully, come the end of the season, we’ll be there or thereabouts.”