WEDNESDAY, March 7 marks the 1,000th day of Derek Adams’ reign as Plymouth Argyle manager.
Derek becomes the tenth manager – and fifth Scotsman – to reach such a milestone, following Derek Ufton, Peter Shilton, Jack Tresadern, Paul Sturrock, Dave Smith, Tony Waiters, Jack Rowley, Jimmy Rae and the great Robert Jack.
In fact, Derek’s 1,000th day as Argyle boss falls 82 years to the day since Mr Jack took charge of his 1,000th game as Pilgrims boss.
Sturrock, in his first spell as Argyle boss, was the last manager to reach the 1,000-day landmark, and the last manager before Derek to drive the Pilgrims to promotion. The similarities between the two are oft-noted.
Adams even went to school in Ellon, a town with a population of around 10,000, the town where Sturrock was born.
Like Sturrock, Adams took his first job in England at Home Park after impressing in Scotland. If anything, Derek’s record north of the border is more impressive, taking Ross County up two divisions and keeping them there, as well as reaching a major cup final.
On June 11, 2015 Adams became a Pilgrim. Since then neither he, nor the club, has looked back.
In his first season, Adams guided Argyle to the play-off final at Wembley, memorably conquering Portsmouth in the semi-finals.
After Wembley heartache, and huge disruption within the squad, with a large turnover of players, Derek expertly crafted his team to not only win promotion from Sky Bet League Two, but to miss out on the title on goal-difference only.
The Pilgrims also won plenty of friends on a wider scale with a pair of performances full of heart, determination and no little skill in taking mighty Liverpool to an Emirates FA Cup replay, and only losing 1-0.
This season, Argyle found life challenging in Sky Bet League One to begin with, but after their rocky start, have made an astonishing fightback to be genuine play-off contenders.
Astonishing to many, that is, but probably not to Derek, a man of steely determination, unwavering self-confidence, and the ability to inspire, organise and galvanise his teams.
Derek has taken on the mantle asked of him on arrival: to manage not only a team, but a club. That means the players, the staff and the fans – all of whom have taken ‘The Gaffer’ as their main man, and followed.
The morning of Derek’s 1,000th day was heralded by yet another Sky Bet Manager of the Month nomination, after the football club’s statistically-greatest ever month.
Congratulations, Derek, on 1,000 days at our great club. Here is to many more.
With thanks to our friends at Greens on Screen