IT HAS been an emotional roller-coaster in the life of Riley as new boy, Joe, missed out on promotion with Shrewsbury but learned of Argyle’s interest on his wedding day!
Joe Riley became Argyle’s fourth summer signing this weekend, but as play-off heartache turned to matrimonial bliss for the 26-year-old right back, he had a call that further enhanced his life.
“I found out on my wedding day actually,” said Joe, of Argyle’s interest. “I had a text from my agent telling me about it. I phoned him the next day and it happened very quickly.”
As with so many young players the 26 year-old had to find first team football elsewhere, despite making his Premier League debut for Bolton Wanderers he joined Oxford on loan.
Like outgoing right-back Oscar Threlkleld, Riley cut his teeth at Bolton Wanderers, and while a brief flirtation with the Prem ensued, he would soon start to learn his trade in the EFL’s engine rooms.
“I played a few games in the Premier League and more in the cup games,” said Riley.
“I loved going on loan to Oxford, that’s probably the most I’ve enjoyed my football playing under Michael Appleton, who’s a really good manager. He got me loving football again after a couple of years out injured. It was a great move.
“I went to Bury and won promotion; I remember playing [at Home Park]; I think we won 2-0. I had a great time; getting promoted is some achievement, then I moved to Shrewsbury.”
Joe told us what the Green Army can expect from him next season.
“I’m very energetic. I like to get forward; that’s the strongest part of my game. As a defender you obviously like to keep clean sheets as well and I’ll be looking to come in and do that.
Joe will not be without connections in the Argyle dressing room; among others with whom he has crossed paths is Antoni Sarcevic.
“I’ve remained good mates with Sarce,” said Joe. “I hope it gives me a new lease of life; even when he first came down here he was loving it, loving his football and now his family are happy down here as well which is great to see.
“I spoke to him quite a lot when I found out. t he’s only had good things to say about the club and the place. So I can’t wait to get going.”