PILGRIMS past and present ...
...have flitted across Anthony O’Connor’s radar during his football career, with the past Home Park exploits of one playing a part in his decision to come to Home Park.
Twenty-one year-old Anthony has joined Argyle on loan from Championship Blackburn Rovers – until January – following a previously trod path.
“There were times before when Blackburn players came to Plymouth, such as Alan Judge,” said Anthony. “He did really well. When he came down, they were in the Championship. Plymouth’s a big club and coming here was a chance I couldn’t really turn down.”
There was at least one familiar face waiting to greet Anthony, who has previously enjoyed loan spells at Burton Albion and Torquay United – he has shared an international dressing-room with fellow summer capture Carl McHugh.
“I played with Carl at Under-21 level,” he said. “Carl wasn’t involved all the way through [the age-groups] like I was but he went to Bradford and did really well, getting them to the cup final and getting them promoted, and that got him recognition.
“I knew him before that, anyway. I knew what type of a player he was, and I knew he was a good lad and would give everything. I got to know him a bit better when he was with the 21s.”
Anthony is also from the same part of Ireland as former Argyle skipper Conor Hourihane.
“I know Conor,” he said. “Recently, when I’ve played against Plymouth, for Burton and Torquay, I’d stop to have a chat with Conor and ask him how he is.
“Obviously, he’s moved on know, which is probably a bit disappointing for the club, but that’s football. I’m sure the club won’t dwell on it too much. There’ll be players coming in to take his place and hopefully we can push on and have a good season.”