Home Away From Home

AS the Argyle squad played their second away game of pre-season against Bideford, one of their number found the tie rather more of a homecoming.

Defender Gary Sawyer grew up in that corner of north-west Devon, with Sports Ground playing host to many a cup final that a young Gary would play in. 

The defender saw a slice of the action against Bideford on Saturday as Argyle won 3-1 against a Robins side that include Gary's brother, Sam.

He said:"It's lovely to go back to my hometown, where I grew up. It was nice. My brother played as well which was the icing on the cake really; we both played the same sort of minutes, which was good, and for all my family where I've been away for so long it was a perfect game to have."

The Pilgrims new number 3 is expected to feature primiarily as a left-back for Argyle, but he was introduced to the action against Bideford as a centre-half. It is, however, a position he is happy and comfortable to play in. 

"I started here really as a centre half," said Gary,  "so I enjoy playing centre-half, but I would consider myself to be a left-back. I can do that [play as a centre-half] if obviously I'm needed to do it; I'm comfortable in that position so if I have to play that role then I'll happily play it."

Argyle have four pre-season encounters remaining, and Gary knows that they are needed, as everyone looks to get game time for fitness and sharpness. 

"Obviously everyone needs minutes," said Gary. "We need everyone to be up to speed so rightfully so you give the other lads a chance to do the same.

"You do the main bulk of the running at the start then the match sharpness doesn't really come until you start playing more games. We've had 2 games and people have played pretty much roughly the same sort of minutes so I don't think you'll see people up to full sharpness until you get to the last game of pre-season really.

"Everyone's itching at the bit to get at it so it's just nice to get your first couple weeks of pre-season done then you just want to get to the games, you want to start playing in the league. We're not too far away, 3 weeks on Saturday till we play the first game so everyone's ready to go."

With Bath city the next opponents Adams side have to face the 30-year-old defender spoke of his enthusiasm to face such competition, and having spent time at both Bristol clubs, Gary knows the Twerton Park side well.  

"Obviously I lived up there for a couple of years, so I know Bath's a good club. I know a couple of the players there, they're a good outfit, so it will be another step in the right direction for where we need to get to for the start of the season! 

The final word from Gary was about his anticipation to get his "home team" back to where he feels they belong. He last took to the field at Home Park for Leyton Orient last season, but is excited to enter the tunnel with the Argyle badge on his chest once more. 

"I was lucky enough to play here when it was in the Championship and we used to fill the stadium every week. We did well at that level, so there's no reason why it can't go back that sort of level.

"It will be nice to walk back out in a green shirt - I will feel more at home that way!"