“YOU have to earn your right to be in the team...
"...because you are born in Plymouth, it doesn’t give you an automatic right to play for Plymouth Argyle.”
Argyle coach Paul Wotton is as proud a Plymothian as there is and played more times than anyone for the Pilgrims, except Kevin Hodges.
However, even Wottsy does not subscribe to positive discrimination in order to see his fellow citizens following in bootmark.
The last time Argyle were challenging for promotion, as they are now, four Plymothians contributed to the success: Wottsy, Michael Evans, Steve Adams and, extremely briefly, Stewart Yetton.
This season, Louis Rooney and Jordan Bentley have played only bit-parts and there is currently no-one from the city in the first-team squad.
“It is unusual and I can’t imagine it has happened many times before,” said Wottsy, “but, if there were players from Plymouth who were good enough to be in the first-team squad, they would be in the first-team squad.
“You earn your right. You can go through any Plymothian who has played for Plymouth Argyle and they have been good enough to pull on the shirt. It’s as simple as that.
“Wherever you’re from in the world, you have to earn your right to play for the club and to wear the shirt.
“It’s just circumstance at the minute. What I would say is what a great motivation [it is] for any 15, 16, 17-year-olds who are at the club, and who are from Plymouth, to break into the first-team squad.
“It’s a massive aspiration. I’ve spoken many times about how proud I was to play for my home-city club. The fans take to a local boy who does okay, as well.”