Sawyer Back at Home

THEY - whoever 'they' are - say you should never go back. Gary Sawyer will happily debate that with them.

The Argyle left-back is in his second stint at the Theatre of Greens, having joined the Pilgrims this summer after a five-year break in his Home Park career, and is thoroughly enjoying life back at what he considers home.

Going into Saturday’s Sky Bet League 2 Home Park match-up with one of Gary’s former clubs, Bristol Rovers, the Pilgrims are second in the table (just behind another side on the Sawyer cv, Leyton Orient) after five wins from their seven league matches under new manager Derek Adams.

Adams has added eight new players to the core of the squad that reached the play-off semi-finals last season and the Scot’s alchemy and personality have produced immediate results.

“He’s been really good,” said Gary, who played 106 times for Argyle first time round between 2006-10. “He never sits on just being happy; when we have had a game when things have not gone our way, he’s let us know about that. That’s a good thing. He’s got pride in his work and I felt that when I first met him. 

“So he hasn’t surprised me with the way he is – he’s exactly as I thought he’d be, and more, to be honest. I think the fans should get behind him because he’s a great bloke to have down here.

“We’ve done well. We’ve had sloppy starts in a couple of games, but obviously we’re still tinkering with things. We have got a very good side down here that he’s created. I don’t think you could ask a lot more from the start to the season.

“We had a good pre-season and everyone seems to have fitted in well. It’s been terrifically good; the boys are really together.”

Gary’s gap years coincided with a grim era in Argyle’s history, watched painfully at a distance by the Bideford-raised boyhood member of the Green Army, but his return has seen the good ship Pilgrim continue to make progress in less choppy waters.

“It’s nice to come back to that,” said Gary, who turned 30 in July. “That’s what I was hoping for. With the battles they had in my years away, I know it’s been tough one for the club; hopefully this is turn of it all. The club can turn it and it feels like it is turning.

“I still had a lot of friends playing for the club while it was happening, and I’m from this area so I was always watching to see how they were getting on. I was updated by friends and family, and friends at the club, so, although I was far away, it never felt like I’d left.”

That emotion peaked on August 11, when Home Park staged its first game of the Adams’ era.

“It was a weird feeling when I first walked out,” he said, “a good feeling. It just feels right to be back.

“It was the right time to come back and it’s been a brilliant start for all of us. I’m really enjoying it.”