GARY Sawyer has tasted more first days of pre-season than most but he still gets a thrill from the once-a-year experience.
The Argyle left-back completed the formalities of a new deal that will see him take his Home Park career into a seventh season and then looked forward to preparing for life in Sky Bet League One.
“It doesn’t matter how old you get or how young you are, in football, there’s a real buzz going into your first day,” he said.
“It sounds childish, but it’s nice to get in and see your new training-kit; the new kit you are going to play in; everyone’s got new trainers, new boots.
“Then it turns from being a nice buzz, seeing everyone, to being nervous energy when you’ve got to go and run around a track. Pre-season is always tough but, if it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be fit enough. It’s definitely been tough here for the last two years; I can’t see that changing.”
It will need to be tough, too, if Argyle are to hold their own in a division higher than last season after winning promotion from League Two in 2016-17. It is a division with which Gaz is familiar.
“Now we have got ourselves in a league we want to be in, a league we deserve to be in, it’s can we push on again?” said Gary. “That’s what everyone at the club is aiming to do.
“It’s a tough league. You look through the fixtures and there are tough games against big teams, but we’re a big team, too – I don’t think too many teams will want to come down and play us.”
Gaz’s new deal takes him into a third year of his second spell at Home Park and he said: “It’s perfect.
“It’s exactly what I wanted. I said, when I came back to the club, it was something I wanted to carry on doing and, luckily enough, the gaffer’s given me another chance to do that. I’m really looking forward to it.”
He is also looking forward to making the acquaintance of manager Derek Adams’ summer signings, including former team-mate Jamie Ness.
He said: “I was at Orient with him; a really good player, a lovely lad and I think he’ll do really well for us.
“In the two years I’ve been here, with the gaffer, he hasn’t put a bad mark on anyone so I’m sure whoever he is bringing in is more than capable of doing the job.”