WITH a season-long loan to Argyle secured, new goalkeeper Alex Palmer will fly out to Spain alongside his Pilgrims’ team-mates on Wednesday, having just arrived back from there.
Alex, 22, will stop over in Plymouth just long enough to sign his contract and play against Torquay United before jetting out to Alicante, where he has already been this summer with his parent club, West Bromwich Albion.
It was before he first decamped to Spain that the former England Youth international was aware of Argyle manager Ryan Lowe’s interest in him.
“I heard about it a couple of weeks ago, before I went away on tour with West Brom,” he said, “Once I got back, it sort of snowballed and came around quite quickly. It’s good to be here now, and get started.”
Getting started means some sort of role in the Pilgrim’s pre-season friendly at Plainmoor, after just the briefest of introductions to his new team-mates.
“That’s the best way to do it,” he said. “To be thrown straight in there and give the lads a taste of what you are about. Obviously, the gaffer gets to see you in game. I’m looking forward to it.”
Alex came through the ranks at the Hawthorns, and has seen a string of fine goalkeepers wear the Baggies’ colours – Ben Foster, Boaz Myhill, Sam Johnstone and Jonathan Bond among them. He has learnt from them, and not just from their performances on the field.
He said: “I’ve had a lot of good goalkeepers in front of me but they have been in the same position as I am – they have had to go out and play football in the League. That’s what I am looking to do – I am looking to showcase myself in the League, show what I’m about; hopefully hit the ground running.
“I’ve been there since I was 14 – I came up through the ranks – and it’s a great club, but, to be able to have an opportunity there, I need to be able to have game-time and I’ve come here to Argyle to hopefully get that.
“What I need and what I’ve been given the opportunity to do now is to hopefully get a run of games and kick on.
“Hopefully, I can cement myself in the team and get a good long run, which is what I need.”
His first taste of first-team football came lasts season, with two single-game emergency loan spells in Sky Bet League Two, at Oldham Athletic and Notts County.
“They were good,” he said. “You get thrown in the deep end, with the lads straight away and in a game within a few days. It was challenging, but I got a taste of it and I’m looking forward to getting some more.
“I will be looking to do my best for Argyle. This is a massive club with a lot of history, and you play football to play in front of crowds.
“I imagine that, when it comes to the first home game of the season, it will be rocking; and the away fans, when they travel, are among the best around.”
Alex is sponsored by PADSA, the Plymouth Argyle Disabled Supporters Association, for Argyle supporters who are disabled or have additional needs and their carers.