'I Can't Wait' - Carl
NEW signing Carl McHugh cannot wait to get the next chapter of his football career started.
The 21-year-old Irish defender has signed a two-year deal at Home Park and has set the bar high upon his arrival, making promotion out of Sky Bet League 2 his priority.
“There’s a lot of really good players here already so it’s got the makings of a really good season and I just can’t wait to get started," he said.
“It’s far too big a club to be in this division and that’s a massive aim for this year, personally and, I think, for the club as a whole, to try and get into League 1.”
Carl, who primarily plays as a centre-back, can deputise at left-back when needed and believes that Argyle is the best place for him. He did not have to think too much when Pilgrims’ manager John Sheridan came calling.
“It’s a massive club,” he said. “I knew all about it before I came; he didn't really have to sell it to me much.
“I think it’s the right place for me now, to develop and hopefully play more games.”
He was famously part of the Bradford City side that made it all the way to the Capital One Cup final in 2013, beating the likes of Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa along the way, before coming undone against Swansea City at Wembley.
In fact, after making his Bradford City debut in the second round of the competition away to Watford, Carl scored the all important third goal in the 3-1 semi-final first-leg victory over Aston Villa at Valley Parade.
“It was brilliant,” he said. “We played away at Watford [in the second round] and we won right at the end; I thought that was as good as it was going to get.
“It just went on and on. We beat Wigan on penalties and Arsenal on penalties and the two legs at Villa was brilliant and, even though the final didn't go too well, the experience was unbelievable.”
On top of the remarkable cup run in his first season of professional football, Carl also experienced the sweet taste of promotion – via the play-offs – with Bradford appearing at Wembley for the second time, beating Northampton Town 3-0.
However, last season, the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international found himself taking more of a backseat role, making just 17 appearances in Bradford’s League 1 campaign.
“In the first year [at Bradford], I played against Aston Villa, Arsenal and Swansea in the cup run and it was brilliant, but I just thought, last season, I didn't get a real good run, playing. I had Andrew Davies in front of me and he was probably the main defender at the club which made it difficult.
“I'm 21 now and I’m just really hungry to become a proper first-team player and play week in, week out in a team, and I think this could be the place for me to do that.”