ARGYLE’S pre-season friendly against Reading Under-21s on Saturday provides Carl McHugh...
...the chance to continue to gel with his new team-mates by squaring off against some of his old ones.
Before the Irishman made his way to Home Park at the beginning of last season from Bradford City, McHugh plied his trade at the Royals from the age of 16. He still has plenty of ties with the Sky Bet Championship side, and believes that any side they bring to Devon will provide a stern test for the Greens.
“I was in the youth team and went out on loan in my first year as a pro,” said Carl, “but it’s a brilliant club and they’ve got a great Academy.
“You can see the amount of players they bring through to the first team, so it’s a testament to the people that work there. Even at the moment, a few of the boys that would’ve been my age or the year above or below me are in and around the first team and on the tour, so that’s good to see.”
Still, whilst the 22 year-old fondly remembers his time at the Madejski Stadium, Carl is much more focused on his current surroundings, more specifically Argyle’s latest acquisitions who, Gary Sawyer apart, will get to pull on the green shirt at home for the first time this weekend.
“The attacking players look really good going forward and look like they’re going to be a goal threat,” said Carl.
“Gregg [Wylde] and Graham [Carey] are setting up goals, and obviously Gary [Sawyer] is a solid left-back at this level, and probably a level or two above, as well. He’s played here at a higher level so everyone knows what he’s about.
“It’s been a really good dressing-room. Everyone’s getting along well. It’s a good group of lads and I think everyone just wants to be successful this season.
“We’ve got plenty of games so we’re going to need a good, strong squad. It’s a really tough league with the Saturday-Tuesday games at the start of the season especially, so it’s good to bolster the squad and get players in.
“It’s great to play [at Home Park] at any chance we get. The pitch is looking brilliant at the moment, as well, so we’re all looking forward to that, and I’m sure all the new lads are looking forward to playing on the home pitch for the first time.”