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Club News

The Glorious Twelfth

17 October 2015

TWELVE games into the reign of the 12th Scottish manager in Argyle history, and Derek Adams has had a braw time so far.

Top of Sky Bet League 2 and into the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy last 16, it is fair to that the former Ross County boss has made a successful start to Argyle life, despite trading in life at Britain’s most northerly club for the one the furthest south. 

Instinctively, plenty of members of the Green Army have made comparisons to another Scottish manager who invigorated the club some 15 years ago.  

In the 2001-02 season, Sturrock led his squad to victory by winning the division we are currently in, breaking numerous records, including a club and league points total of 102. Two years later another promotion followed, inspired by the man affectionately known as ‘Luggy’. 

Argyle’s founding father, Bob Jack, as important a figure as anyone in the club’s history, was born in Alloa, not all that far from Sturrock’s old stomping ground of Dundee. A city in which Dave Smith, who masterminded the Pilgrims’ promotion season of 1985-86, was born. 

Throw in Jimmy Rae, boss of the 1951-52 promotion side, who was from Aberdeenshire, and you have quite the quartet of Scotsmen, all from the east coast, that have done Argyle proud. 

Glaswegian Derek started his career as a player with Aberdeen, and would clearly love nothing more than being thought of in similar terms to his countrymen that are on the Argyle roll of honour. 

Scottish managers have not only done well in Plymouth but across England as well. During his 26 years with Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two UEFA Champions League titles meaning he is regarded as one of the most successful, admired and respected managers in the history of the game. A predecessor of his, Sir Matt Busby, is another revered scot at Old Trafford. 

After earning the name King Kenny with Liverpool as a player, Kenny Dalglish retired and took over a managerial role with several clubs. During his this as a manager he won the top flight in England four times and well as picking up two FA Cups, one Super Cup, one League Cup and four FA Charity Shields. 

Despite a rcky spell with United, David Moyes managed Everton for 11 years with a remarkable record that caused Sir Alex, Dalglish and Arsene Wenger to praise Moyes for his achievements with the team. 

When asked about why he thinks Scottish managers do so well in England, Derek said: "The reason is probably that we've got an understanding of the game. 

“We've got a good work ethic and we're organised. We have a desire to do well and these are all the things that us Scots have. We've got a great desire to do well in England and that's shown over the years. The successful ones leave no stone unturned."

When Paul Lambert was dismissed from his duties at Aston Villa in February of this year, it was the first time that a Scottish boss was not in charge of a top flight team in England since 1984. Alex Neil solved that problem when Norwich were promoted back to the Premier League. 

Adams has said he feels that the reason why so many Scottish men have done well in managerial roles is because of people like Ferguson who are seen as role-models. He said: "If you look over a period of time the amount of players that have gone on to become managers that played under him, it's been a large number.

"He's a person that has succeeded over a number of years.

"I've grown up around him since I was five years old, so he was always one person that I've looked to.

"I've been watching him coach and manage throughout the years, been in very close proximity and know how he operates. You learn from so many people, you're learning every day from all different walks of life."

While there are many Scottish managers creating a name for themselves in England the objective for Derek is to continue to make his own mark within the club and guide his Argyle side to promotion to Sky Bet League 1. He said: "I think the area is laid back and when a Scotsman comes in we try and push people to their limits. It's a nice part of the world and the Scots enjoy it.

"We find a bit of warmth and a bit of sunshine and that maybe helps us as well." 


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