Getting to Know You
RYAN Donaldson expects the grueling pre-season itinerary to bring a new-look Argyle side closer together.
Donaldson checked in at Home Park to complete his medical a week after his official arrival - in which time a clutch of fellow new signings have been recruited by manager Derek Adams.
Two of those players, Jordan Slew and Jimmy Spencer, played with Ryan at Cambridge United, and he thinks their quality and familiarity can only mean good things for Argyle's upcoming campaign.
"Obviously we've signed a couple of boys that I know," said Donaldson, "so it's been quite handy - Jimmy Spencer and Jordan Slew - so it'll be nice to see them again and catch up.
"Jimmy had a really good end to the season last year. I think he had a lot of injuries when he was at Notts County but he came in and did well, and got quite a few goals actually. A really good player.
"Jimmy texted me the day before he signed, just saying he was coming down, asking what the place was like. I spoke very highly of the manager since I met him, and I just encouraged him to get it done.
"Slewy's really quick and strong, and a handful for any defender. I'm looking forward to playing with him again. He's rapid, strong, and just causes havoc for everyone. Put a ball in front of him and he'll run after it and probably get it because he can catch pigeons, that lad.
"It's always nice to have people that you know joining a new club, and I'm sure we'll be helping each other in pre-season."
Before the 2016-17 season gets under-way, the infamous pre-season schedule must be completed, as the Pilgrims get themselves in the best shape possible the opening game against Luton Town on August 6. Whilst the 25-year old midfielder knows the rigorous fitness tests and drills will be far from a walk in the park, Donaldson expects the squad to gel together in the coming weeks.
"I don't think anyone will be [ready] but it's part of the job," said Ryan. "You know it's coming and you've just to grit your teeth and get through it at this stage of the season.
"It's a good time to build relationships and get to know everyone. You're all in it together; you don't look forward to it but it's got to be done. When you're running on the track it's always to forget there's a game coming, but it's nice that the games start pretty soon. You've just got to get this out of the way before the fun stuff comes."
Having played at Home Park before, Ryan knows what sort of vociferous support the Green Army can offer, and he is already looking forward to finding how it feels for that atmosphere to be working in his favour, instead of against him.
"It's a really intimidating place to come and play, actually, in this league," said Donaldson, "but I'm glad I'm on their side now.
"It's something I'm looking forward to, and to call this my home is really something I'm quite proud of."