DESPITE not having been home, properly, for the best part of a decade, Pilgrims defender Lloyd Jones already feels settled at the club where his footballing journey began.
It’s been a whirlwind ten days for Lloyd, who officially signed on loan from Luton Town on Deadline Day, having heard about interest from Argyle boss Derek Adams a few days earlier. For him, it was a no-brainer to fulfill a personal ambition of turning out for his hometown club.
“I moved in yesterday and I had a few hours to myself,” said Lloyd. “I just sat there thinking ‘it feels real nice. I haven’t been home for eight years.’
“On Sunday [January 27], I spoke to my agent and then I spoke to Derek on the Monday. As soon as Argyle became an option, that was the club I wanted to come to.”
Having joined Liverpool’s Academy as a 15-year-old, Lloyd has a lot of experience of taking on loan moves to get game-time. This one, he says, feels different.
“It’s a proud moment,” beamed Lloyd. “It’s just the little things like when you go to Harpers Park [the club’s training ground].
“I remember when I was around 14, going in with the youth team. In the winter, the first-team would be getting all the gear; trousers, jumpers, and I’d be walking down there in shorts, but now I’ve got all the gear on, so I actually feel like I’m part of the players. It does mean a lot.
“I used to sit in the Devonport End. It’s weird seeing your name on the back of an Argyle jersey. It’s every kid’s dream of playing for your home city. Hopefully that chance does come, and it’s down to me then.”
It’s an exciting time for Lloyd to be joining Argyle, on and off the pitch, as the Pilgrims’ Sky Bet League One resurgence coincides with the Grandstand redevelopment gathering pace. The Greens’ new defender, though, is not just here for sightseeing.
“I remember the first day I came, me and the gaffer walked around the stadium, and I couldn’t believe it,” said Lloyd. “What they’re doing with the Grandstand looks unbelievable.
“I’ve always been confident in my ability, and I think this is hopefully going to be a platform for me to go and kick-on again.
“I want as many points as I can get for Argyle as possible. The gaffer said, ‘alright I know there’s a bit of a gap there and it’s probably a bit far-fetched, but it’s only 12 points [to the play-offs]’. I think you’ve just got to win the big games, like Saturday [against Portsmouth at Home Park], and take it from there.”