YOUNG midfielder Tom Purrington has signed his first professional contract at Home Park.
The 18-year-old follows in the footsteps of big brother Ben, also a graduate of Argyle academy. Tom was understandably thrilled to have been offered terms for the Pilgrims 2019-20 campaign.
"I'm over the moon, it's a dream come true," he said. "I've been at the club since the age of eight, so it's all I've really worked for; signing it [the contract] was a great feeling for me and all my family."
Tom made his Argyle debut in difficult circumstances; coming on as a second-half substitute in a dead rubber 2-0 defeat to Newport County in the Checkatrade Trophy group stages last November. His impressive form in the Premier League Cup and Central League competitions led to many appearances on the bench under Derek Adams. Now, he wants more of that under new boss Ryan Lowe.
Tom said, "By all accounts, the new manager is really positive and likes youth as well. There is no reason why, if I prove myself, I can't get in the team.
“Under Derek Adams, I always felt positive that I could hopefully break through. I just have to work hard and try to prove myself. With the new manager coming in, I have to prove to him what I'm worthy of, hopefully I get a break sometime this season and I just have to keep showing what I can do, work hard and maybe get a start or come on at some point during the season, and see what happens.”
The midfielder feels that playing at a better standard this season, in competitions like the Premier League Cup and the Central League, has enhanced his development.
He said: “I think those games have been really good. The Premier League Cup games and the Central League have been really beneficial, getting used to men’s football which is a lot different to under-18 football. Overall, I feel I have progressed quite a bit, as have all the other players who have played in those games.”
Tom aspires to emulate the success of brother Ben, who recently achieved promotion to the Championship with Charlton Athletic. A left-back, Purrington senior made 64 first-team appearances, scoring once. Tom is keen to reach those figures, and better them, in the Green of Argyle.
"Ben goes over the same things with me, telling me I have to work hard and treat every day like it’s my last day or last game and see where it goes after that," he said.
"You can't do any more than try your best. He is always positive, and he gives me tips on how to improve my game. Obviously, he has played at a higher level than me. I'd definitely love to go down the route he's gone down, I look up to him and if I can achieve what he has I'll be pretty happy."