Ryan's Going Places

NEW Pilgrim Ryan Brunt has already been around a bit for a 21-year-old...

...but he believes he has still got places to go with Argyle.

The Birmingham-born forward has signed an 18-month deal at Home Park following his release by Bristol Rovers on Tuesday.

Stoke City Academy graduate Ryan has had loan spells at four other league clubs, as well as his stint at the Memorial Stadium, and he said: “There are a lot of players who haven’t got the experience I have got at my age.

“That’s something that will benefit me and I see Plymouth to be going places and in the direction I want to be going in my career.

“As soon as I had a chance to come to Plymouth, I knew I wanted to come.

“We are in a great position. I know the last few weeks haven’t gone as everyone wanted them to go, but we’re definitely in a position to get into the play-offs and push for promotion.”

Six foot-plus Ryan moved left the Britannia Stadium for Rovers in January 2013 after temporary stints at Sky Bet League 1 clubs Tranmere Rovers and Leyton Orient, and credits former Argyle managers Tony Pulis and David Kemp for giving him a good grounding in the Potteries.

He said: “I signed for the youth team and was in the first-team squad for quite a bit of my time, as well as going out on loan to get experience.

“Everything that I learnt there was fantastic. Tony Pulis was a good guy; Kempy was also really good. I loved my time there, but I had a chat with Tony and he said the best way for me to progress was to go and get games.”

So on to Bristol, where he helped turn Rovers’ 2012-13 season around in dramatic fashion.

He said: “There were a few players who came there at Christmas and we were in bad situation; we came together and pulled things back. We could have potentially gone for the play-off spots in that year, so it was kind of going from one extreme to the other.”

Rovers’ manager John Ward described him at the time as “an old-fashioned centre-forward”, a description he is happy to answer to. Ish.  “There’s a lot more to my game than that, but working hard and being a sort of battering-ram is good estimation,” he said.

Last season, when he played alongside new Home Park team-mate Ollie Norburn, was curtailed by a knee injury, but a summer op and loan spells this season at League 2 clubs York and Stevenage mean that is old news.

“There was nothing structurally wrong with my knee,” he said. “It was just a minor thing that no-one could fathom out until I went to see a top surgeon in London. 

“I have put that behind me this season. I have been out for a couple of weeks recently with an ankle injury, but that’s neither here nor there.

“The loans were two really good periods of time at different clubs. The York loan was more to get my fitness, to be honest, because I hadn’t played in a while; at Stevenage, I really progressed as a player, I think, which has benefited me.”

Ryan is now looking forward to providing competition and assistance for the Pilgrims’ regular strikers, Reuben Reid and Lewi Alessandra.

“I know both from playing football against them,” he said, “although I don’t know them personally. I think I can not only score some goals myself, but bring things into play for them to get more goals.”