IN many ways, my message to the Green Army and the people associated with this football club is the same as last week – football can wait.
We are now all on lockdown as a result of government advice, which means that club staff, playing staff and coaches are all working from separate locations. However, we cannot allow our team bond to get weaker over this period.
It is important that we stay connected with our colleagues, friends, families and communities – albeit not in person. For me, my staff and my players, that means regular conversations over video chats and phone-calls. We have to be a little bit more creative with ways to keep the camaraderie and team spirit going – but we have an excellent group of characters and they are all adapting to the situation brilliantly.
I have enjoyed seeing a few of the lads get involved with the Green Army in other ways during this difficult period. I do not like to single individuals out, as all of my squad are good people, but I know that the lads have gotten involved in anything from offering shopping for elderly neighbours to streaming games of FIFA to entertain supporters.
The same should be said of the Board of Directors, Andrew [Parkinson, Chief Executive], Zac [Newton, Club Secretary] and club staff. By handing over the offices and Mayflower Grandstand facilities to the NHS in the short-term, we are able to make a real contribution to the city in a time when its needs are greater than our own. The Crowdfunder campaign to help pay local businesses and donate tickets to NHS workers is another example of the club stepping up in other ways while there is no football to be played.
When I joined Argyle in the summer, I was clear that I wanted us to become a real family club, and I definitely feel that we have made progress in that time. I am proud of the actions of everyone associated with the club. I hope you are, too.
We do not know what the future looks like, and we are no closer to knowing when we will be able to take to the pitch at Home Park again.
In the meantime, we must find ways to connect with supporters and our local community.
Stay safe and look after each other.