IT is almost five months since Conor Grant was first about get the official Argyle #incoming treatment.
However, as Derek Adams prepared to add the Everton midfielder to his squad on a loan basis in January, red tape stopped the Bluenose becoming a Green.
“There was a rule which meant I wasn’t allowed to play,” said Conor, voice tinged with genuine regret, “I tried to put it past me and not think about it; that’s just part of football and something I had to deal with. Now I’m here and I’m looking forward to getting started.”
In fact, it was a single game for Everton’s representative side in the Checkatrade Trophy that counted against him. When Conor returned from a loan spell at Crewe, set to head for Home Park, checks revealed that he was classed as having played for two clubs – the maximum allowed in a single season.
Unperturbed, Adams kept Grant in mind, and with Conor nearing the Goodison exit, Derek held the door open for him. Next stop, Home Park.
“It’s the second time that I’m back and I’m delighted to be here,” said Conor. “The manager really wanted me to be here and I’m delighted to finally be approved.
Derek’s attention, as well as the welcome he has received in our wonderful part of the world, has left Grant with a semi-permanent smile, and the feeling he has made a good call.
He said: “I’m really happy that I got to spend the few days that I did here because I got to see the club, the place, see a few of the lads and I was made to feel really welcome.“The Gaffer, straight away, made me feel welcome as did as the staff who have been here today and that’s important to me; it’s important to feel wanted and know that they’re backing me and that’s how to play your best football.”
After being stymied, and blocked from coming to Argyle, Conor got precious little playing time while with Everton’s under-23s, and now is so is happy to have a place where he can push for a place in the starting 11.
“It was a very testing time but that’s part of football you have to deal with, little setbacks and I’m thankful that I’m here now,” said Conor.
“I’ve been on five loans now so I’ve got quite a bit of experience in a short time and I’m looking forward to adding to that here and finding a new home.”
Having previously faced Argyle when he played for Doncaster Rovers last season, Grant has first-hand experience of playing at Home Park and the standard of a few of his new teammates.
He said: “I think this club is definitely on the up and they’ve got a really good fanbase which really helps the team. I’m really looking forward to seeing them in action at Home Park - I can’t wait to get started.
“I’m a creative player, I like to get on the ball and make things happen. I work with half the team and I want to try and influence them in the final third as much as the defensive part- that’s hopefully what I can bring.”
Despite having a slightly longer break than anticipated, Grant is ready to face pre-season training with his new manager, Derek Adams.
“I’ve had a couple little breaks so now it’s just a case of building up and getting ready for the season,” he said.
Welcome to Home Park, Conor.