The New Sloop

PAUL Wotton has made the step up from Argyle player to coach so smoothly that he already reminds long-time team-mate Luke McCormick of a former Home Park great.

John Blackley – ‘Sloop’ to just about everyone in football – was Paul Sturrock’s vitally important defensive co-ordinator as the Pilgrims progressed to the Championship in middle of last decade.

Wottsy was part of that successful Argyle era, and new club captain Luke reckons the productive hours on the training-ground with Sloop have etched themselves into his mind.

 “He reminds me of John Blackley, to a degree,” said Luke. “I remember the amount of work we used to do, defensively and that was such a big part of why we kept 20-odd clean sheets in the [2003-04 Nationwide Division 2] championship-winning team.

“I understand the importance of the work Paul Wotton has been doing and obviously he does. I think everyone can only benefit.

“John Blackley was a real taskmaster and he worked the back unit really hard. He had standards and he set them high, and I think Wottsy has taken something from that and is delivering those standards and those demands on to today’s lads.

“It looks like he’s been doing it all his life, to be honest, and I think he did sort of coach when he played on the field; from what I can see, there’s been no problem in that transition from playing to coaching.”