Breaking the Seale

IF you were unfortunate on missing out on a ticket to see Argyle’s opening Sky Bet League 2 opener against AFC Wimbledon... can still get your fix of Pilgrims’ action in the Westcountry this weekend.

The Plymouth Argyle Advanced Development team are in action in the first game of the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League campaign against Bude Town on Saturday – their first game at the new academy base of Seale-Hayne.

First-teamers Louis Rooney, Callum Hall and Tyler Harvey all set to be in action for Head Coach Kevin Nancekivell’s side this weekend as they look to start their season with all three points.

The Pilgrims are playing their Peninsula fixtures near Newton Abbot, at what the club has unofficially nicknamed ‘Hodges Park’ in a nod to their Academy Head and club-record appearance holder Kevin Hodges.

Kevin is expecting a tough afternoon for his young team, which this year will comprise a mixture of Academy players and others from the Community Trust Education Scheme, with the possibility of first-team squad members also turning out on occasions.

Nance said: “The Advanced Development team and the Youth-Team will intermingle as the season develops, and we will be using lads for Youth Alliance fixtures and the Peninsula League as well, depending on who we feel needs a game.

“We’ve got 19 apprentices at the club and we need those lads to be playing 90 minutes on a Saturday. We are linking in with our thriving Community Trust and there will be boys from their educational programme also involved in the Peninsula team.

“It will be an excellent opportunity for these lads to develop their football and the Peninsula side also gives the manager a chance to occasionally use this platform to improve fitness or some game-time for his first-team players, so there is continuity, from the Community to the Academy to the first-team.

“I’m expecting a decent standard and I’ve seen a few of the teams in pre-season already. We know it’s going to be a very competitive League and it will be a chance for our young lads to experience ‘real’ football.

“Bude Town will give us a really tough game and we know most of the teams will be desperately keen to do well against Plymouth Argyle. They will be up for it and we have to be at our best every week.

“We have obviously moved to Seale-Hayne and we know it’s a drawback to be based outside the city of Plymouth. It makes things difficult for our supporters and we understand that, but we’d love to see people turn up and watch.

“The plus side of the move is that we now have the potential to form a proper base for the Academy, which is something Plymouth Argyle has needed for years. Harper’s Park is placed under great stress and the first team need both those pitches to be in perfect condition for training.

“Seale-Hayne can accommodate three or four pitches and it has decent facilities. We’ll see how it pans out over the season but the potential is very exciting.”

Seale-Hayne ground is situated just outside of Newton Abbot and the postcode is TQ12 6NQ for tapping into your SatNav.

Tickets are just £3 for entry and refreshments will be available to help you enjoy a terrific afternoon of football. Kick-off is 3pm.

Squad: Jordan Stidson, Liam Knowles, Jake Miller, Connor McAuley, Callum Rose, Sam Ryan, Ryan Lane, Callum Hall, Louis Rooney, Tyler Harvey, Will Nesbit, Fletcher Williams, Connor Rush, Ben Cross.