THIS season, Argyle will be fielding a team in the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League. Below, we answer some common questions about the new set-up...
Why have Plymouth Argyle Football Club entered a team into the Carlsberg South West Peninsula Football League?
The club has, for some time, been looking for opportunities to give its first-team, academy and development teams more game-time outside of their traditional games’ programmes. It had been felt that, increasingly, these programmes have been inadequate for the club’s needs.
After discussions with the FA and the South West Peninsula committee, we decided to enter a Plymouth Argyle Academy Development (AD) team into the South West Peninsula League. We felt this would not only provide more competitive games for the club but was also a good way to interact with the South West football community.
The South West Peninsula League have been very supportive, whilst continuing to do what is best for the League and all its members.
Who will play in the Plymouth Argyle AD Team?
All the club’s players are eligible to play in the South West Peninsula League. The core of the team will comprise the Argyle youth-team players and the Argyle Community Trust team which currently plays in the midweek Premier League/Football League National League. However, the opportunity is there for the first-team squad’s young professionals and long-term injured players to be given valuable game-time.
Who will manage the Plymouth Argyle AD team?
The team will be jointly managed by Chris Souness and Kevin Nancekivell. This will provide a natural link to the first-team management. They bring vast experience of developing players and a history of playing and coaching at a professional and local level. Glyn Carpenter will act as club secretary.
Where will the team play?
The team will play at the former Seale-Hayne Agricultural College, near Newton Abbot. We did speak to several clubs in and around Plymouth with the intention of forming a mutually beneficial partnership and sharing a venue. Unfortunately, despite a lot of effort, this proved impossible. Most local clubs have first, second, veterans and youth teams and were unable to also accommodate the Plymouth Argyle AD team. We were also unable to find a suitable standalone venue
We are delighted to have reached a solution by partnering with Torquay United to share facilities at Seale-Hayne and both parties very much look forward to our joint-venture. The venue meets the ground criteria of the South West Peninsula League and provides the best playing facilities available to us in Devon and Cornwall.
The club have been in the league before – what is different this time?
Previously, Argyle have played in non-League football without a long-term commitment. Now, however, the structure of the club is very different and this will guarantee the sustainability of the project. A committee has been set up, and will be managed, by the Argyle Community Trust and the Argyle Academy to ensure that, if the club’s first team pursues a direction in the future, the South West Peninsula League team will continue with players from the Academy and Community Trust. We see this as a long-term commitment.
How much does it cost to watch?
Entry to the games will cost £3 per adult and £1 per child. If you are a current season-ticket holding club Member, you will be charged only £1.50 per adult and 50p per child upon presentation of your Member card. These prices are based on average South West Peninsula League costs.
How do I get to Seale-Hayne?
From Plymouth: Travel along the A38 to the Goodstone Cross Junction and take A383 to Newton Abbot. Keep on this road until you go past a big grey house on the right. You will see the lay-by a little further along on the right – you need to turn left opposite the lay-by. Keep going to the top of the lane.
From Exeter: Travel along the main A38 until you get to the Drumbridges/Stover Park exit (Trago Mills) and follow the A382. Keep going along the main road. At the first roundabout, bear left; at the second roundabout, turn right; at the third roundabout, turn right; this sends you to the A383 – Ashburton. Keep going on this road until you start to go back out of the town. Look for new houses being built either side of the road. Go down a steep hill and, at the bottom, turn right opposite the lay-by. Keep going to the top of the lane.
Are there refreshments at the ground?
Yes – there is a refreshments canteen which will be open to all guests. There is also a small meeting room for guests and visiting teams.
Is there car-parking?
Yes – there is ample parking based at the ground and parking available for cars and minibuses.
How can I find out about the South West Peninsula League team?
There will be a match preview on the club website (pafc.co.uk) before every game and a report afterwards. Match-day programmes will be available at the ground.
Is there any seating for spectators?
Are there toilets available to spectators?
Seale-Hayne was the only purpose-built agricultural college in the UK
It operated from 1919 to 2005 and was built to satisfy Charles Seale-Hayne’s will.
Charles Seale-Hayne (1833-1903) was a liberal politician who owned land in Devon
The college was built around 1912-1914, but its opening was delayed because of the First World War.
During the war it was used as a training centre for Land girls.
In 1918-1919 it was opened as a military neurasthenic hospital where soldiers that had returned from the war with shell shock were treated.
It was finally used as an agricultural college in 1920.
During the Second World War, it was used for training the Women’s Land Army, an organisation set up by working women while the men were away fighting.
After the war the college was expanded, to now accommodate 1,000 students in 1986.
In 1989 Seale-Hayne was merged with Plymouth Polytechnic (Plymouth University).
In 2005 the college was closed and all remaining staff and students were transferred to Plymouth University
Today the Dame Hannah Rogers Trust occupies the site; they provide education, therapy and care to children and young people with physical disabilities.
Thanks to Hannah’s, Seale-Hayne has a 500 capacity live music venue, called ‘The Yellow Room’ and a recording studio called ‘Big Red’.
The agricultural land of Seale-Hayne was sold to a farmer when the college was closed.