A SENSE of positivity and faith in manager Derek Adams are two reasons why Stuart O’Keefe has chosen to be a Pilgrim.
The midfielder arrived on Friday, on loan from Cardiff City until January, and also cited a good experience of playing at Home Park as part of his reasoning for swapping south-east wales for the south-west of England.
“I know I’m not going to be playing at Cardiff,” said Stuart. “I’ve had various loan moves over the last couple of years, and this appealed to me.
“I’ve only played here once, with Pompey. It was a great atmosphere and a hard place to come. It’s good to play in front of a big crowd and make it difficult for teams.
“[Derek’s] done really well here, been really successful – and that was one reason why I came here. The club seems to be going in the right direction. It was a positive sign for me to come down here; I wanted to go somewhere with a bit of positivity and I can see that here.”
The influence of his parent club’s manager played its part, too. Despite it being more than two decades since Neil Warnock left Argyle, the experienced boss has kept a house on Cornwall and kept an eye on Argyle’s fortunes.
O’Keefe spent part of last season on loan at Portsmouth alongside fellow Bluebird Matty Kennedy. Kennedy, of course, spent part of the season before at Home Park, helping us to gain promotion from League Two.
"I spoke to Matty and he said he loved his time down here, which was encouraging,” said Stuart, “ Neil Warnock lives round here and he explained that it is a nice place to live. I’m happy to be here. I just want to play some football and see what happens.
“I was at Portsmouth last season, and Milton Keynes for a little bit before that. I know what to expect. It’s a tough league; there’s not much between the teams at the top and the bottom. We’ve got a good squad here, and there’s no reason we can’t put a string of results together and get up the league.
“I like to think I bring a bit of experience, having played in the Championship and a bit in the Premier League; a bit of energy, a bit of bite in midfield; a bit of an old-school box-to-box midfielder, scoring a few goals but also tracking back.
“I’m in the last year of my contract with Cardiff. I’ll go back in January and reassess all situations and see what happens. If they like me here, and I like them, then we’ll see what happens.”