EARLIER in the week, first-team coach Kevin Nancekivell said that “any ex player will tell you – once you’ve played for Plymouth Argyle, it never leaves you.”
That sentiment has been proven right, with an influx of supportive messages for the current generation of Pilgrims, who prepare to go #OneMoreRound in this evening’s do or die clash with Scunthorpe.
Romain Larrieu, who has arguably experienced more ups and downs in an Argyle career than any other, said:
“Well everyone, this one is not for the faint hearted. All you have left is hope and prayer. They say fortune favours the brave, well let’s see what you have got.
“You will get probably the noisiest Home Park in years and they will be with you all the way - the lucky ones inside the stadium and the thousands following it all over the world. Make sure you give it the biggest go you can. Come on you Greens!”
Larrieu’s compatriot David Friio, who represented the Pilgrims between 2000-2005, also sent a heartfelt letter to the Green Army earlier in the week.
“Just a few words to send you all my best wishes for the important game on Saturday vs Scunthorpe United.
“To Kevin and the staff: Please be calm and clear with your ideas. I am sure you have put a plan or a strategy in place. Stick to it and be determined. Your players will back and follow you.
“To the players: There is no more time to think about what went wrong during the season, on Saturday you will still have a chance to put it right. Everybody will tell you that it will be like playing a cup final, but it won’t! In a cup final you are fighting for the glory, on Saturday you will be fighting for your pride, for your families, for the people that love you, for the people of Plymouth and for the Green Army. Please never forget this. Make sure that you will be able to look yourself in the mirror after the game. I wish you all the best my friends.
“To the Green Army, what can I say? One day you will support a team at your level of dedication -you are first class. Until then, I am sure that Home Park will be an intimidating place for the opposition. Flags and scarves up in the air! Kill your voices! Play your part like there will be no tomorrow.”
Reuben Reid, who has experienced high-stakes games at both ends of the table while playing for Argyle, also got in touch.
“Sending positivity from the Reid household to all those associated with the famous Green Army.
“It’s a day for everyone to come together and ensure a performance worthy of keeping this club where it belongs.
“Regardless of how the day pans out, positivity for the now and the future is the true winner. Go well and be lucky!”
If there is one winner-takes-all moment in contemporary years that the Pilgrims will be hoping to replicate, it is surely Peter Hartley’s last-gasp winner that sent Argyle past rivals Portsmouth in the 2016 play-off semi-final. That was not lost on the man himself, who said:
“To my former team mates and beloved Pilgrims, I want to wish the boys a big good luck in tomorrow’s games. I know you can do it, but not without the help of a 12th man.
“Make sure you get right behind your team and nothing but positivity from minute one to 95. If this happens, I have no doubt the result will come. Good luck, once a Green.”
Promotion-winning midfielder David Norris, who will be attending the game as half-time guest, also reached out to us via Twitter.
“I’m heading back to Plymouth this weekend hoping to bring Argyle some luck. It’s going to be a nervous afternoon but a massive good luck to the players, staff and fans.”
Former Argyle striker, assistant manager and manager David Kemp, who is now assistant to former Pilgrims manager Tony Pulis, said: “Come on lads. One big effort, let’s get those three points -everyone with Argyle connections is behind you.
“There are Argyle fans from all over the world watching and listening, wishing they could be there Saturday. To the fans that are there: give it everything to help the players, because you too are representing the fans that can't be there. Come on Argyle!”
Three former Pilgrim captains, who each faced adversity during their stays at Home Park, have also been in touch with Argyle Media to pass on their messages of support.
Curtis Nelson, academy graduate who came through the ranks to captain the Pilgrims at Wembley in 2016, thinks the Pilgrims can draw strength from the music of Bob Marley, specifically Three Little Birds, as they did in the 2015 play-off semi-finals against Wycombe: “Best of luck to the Green Army on Saturday. It’s a massive club and it deserves to stay in League One. Don’t worry about a thing…”
Nelson’s previous skipper, Conor Hourihane, now representing the Republic of Ireland and pushing for promotion to the Premier League with Aston Villa, said: “All the very best to the lads, staff and fans for the game at the weekend, do whatever it takes to get over the line.”
“No doubt the fans will roar you on to get the win that’s needed for everyone involved in the club.”
Meanwhile, Simon Walton, a player whose goals and influence helped the Pilgrims avoid relegation from the Football League at their lowest ebb, said: “Best of luck to Argyle on the weekend. I know personally what it’s like to come back against all odds in Green colours.
“The position we found ourselves in during those difficult days was way worse than the club finds itself in now. Three points should do it. Come on Green Army!”
As reported on pafc.co.uk, former Pilgrim midfielder and Icelandic cult hero Kari Arnason got in touch earlier in the week to provide his perspective on the Pilgrims’ upcoming challenge.
“It’s not easy to be in a relegation battle,” he said. “In fact, as a player, it’s nerve-wracking. We were in a similar situation in my time at Home Park - everything seemed to be going against us; we lost many of our best players in January; and we couldn’t string a few results together.
“On top of that, we hadn’t been paid for about six months due to administration of the club. However, we kept at it, kept grinding away; the results were a mixed bag but eventually we would have stayed up if it hadn’t been for the points-deduction because of the club’s financial problems.
“This final push takes everything you’ve got as players and as fans. Hopefully, Home Park will be packed and bouncing. What the boys need is a positive atmosphere cheering them on for 90 minutes and the players need to give it everything they've got for 90 minutes.
“Let’s all work together to secure our place in the league. Come on Green Army.”
Paul Mariner, former striker and head coach who returned to Home Park earlier in the season as a part of Tony Waiters era reunion, also sent his message of support from the United States.
“Right, lads, this is it. One game, three points in the bag and hopefully make a lot of Janners very happy. I’ll be keeping tabs on the game from the US. Smash ‘em!”