GARY Sawyer’s 179th appearance for Plymouth Argyle was a unique one in his Pilgrims’ career – it was his only game in Sky Bet League One.
So far, of course. The experienced left-back is expected to play a part in Argyle’s season back in the third tier of English football, but it is a level he has never experienced with his first – and current side.
Sawyer came through the Home Park ranks and soon became a dependable Championship full-back, playing his first century of games in the green and white while Argyle were a second-tier outfit.
Fast forward over five years, and in the time Sawyer was away, the Pilgrims had plummeted. He returned to Argyle and found them a League Two side, but after last season’s heroics, the side closest to Gaz’s heart are a step closer to where they were the first time around.
Strangely enough, during his time away from PL2, Gary played plenty of football in that division, for the likes of Bristol Rovers and Leyton Orient. Now, he is enjoying being back there, and the challenges such a standard of football brings – such as meeting Charlton Athletic at Home Park this Saturday.
“It’s what you want,” said Gary. “We fought all last year so we could have bigger games this year. I think the club is where the club wants to be, aiming in the right direction, getting clubs like Charlton down here, and looking to get a bumper crowd.
“It was only the Championship when I was here before, and then League Two when I came back.
“I have probably played the majority of my football in League One if you were to dissect through my career. League One’s a good level, and it’s nice, after a successful year last year, to play in League One with this club. I’m pleased to have done the leagues with Plymouth – it’s just unfortunate it was never the top one!
“It’s a big game for us. [Charlton] are a massive club as well. They will be geared to be up there at the end of the season.
“It’s all about points. We’ll go for the win, as we do in every game, and hope that we can get it. The fans always turn out, which is really good. It will be nice to play a home game, considering the journeys we’ve had in the last few weeks!
“It’s an exciting one, and we’re looking forward to it.”