WORKING diligently under a determined new manager in Derek Adams, Peter Hartley is relishing the opportunity to continue improving his game this season.
With eight years of professional experiences under his belt, the Argyle centre back has been a figure of professionalism and commitment since joining the Greens at the beginning of last season, leading from the front with both his words and actions.
That forthrightness and passion seems to be a shared way of thinking between him and his new boss, and Hartley believes he is improving as a player under the stewardship of Adams.
“The gaffer seems to have a real desire to win,” said Peter. “He knows what he wants from a team, so how can you criticise a person who’s got that type of desire?
“It can only brush off on everybody else. He’s got ridiculously high standards, and it rubs off on everyone else. You learn new things every day from what you’re doing; the day you think you’ve stopped learning is the day you start decreasing in your career.
“With different methods in training, we’ve done a few different things that I’ve never done before.
“Success is a lot of things, done very well, so if we keep doing those things and keep on top of things then hopefully, touch wood, we’ll see where we are at the end of the season.
“There’s a lot more organisation about the place. The gaffer seems to have a good philosophy, knows the way he wants to play and what he wants to do. One thing I’ve noticed the players all say is that he’s a good person, as well.
“I’m enjoying it, and I think it’s going to be a really enjoyable season.”
The 27-year old has been busy reacquainting himself with working in a four-man defence with Adams in charge, and after keeping a clean sheet in the Greens’ opening-day win over AFC Wimbledon, Peter believes all the hard work is beginning to pay off when it matters most.
“He’s obviously changed the formation,” said Peter, “and I think that you saw in pre-season, because we changed from a three to a two [centre backs], it took us a couple of games to get our distances right, because you’ve got to make up a lot more ground when it’s a two at the back. As the games went on, we gradually seemed to get more and more solid.
“The main thing was that when a ball came into a [opposing] striker last season, it was always the middle-man, which was Carl [McHugh], that would go in, and then me and Nelse [Curtis Nelson] would tuck around. Now, we’ve got to take that responsibility in ourselves to get tight with that striker.
“So you’re making up more ground, but the penny’s starting to drop now. You’ve got to take more responsibility and ownership.”