Joe Edwards

Edwards on Pre-Season So Far

Sync Fixtures

Argyle’s pre-season preparations continued nicely with a 5-1 win over Forest Green Rovers on Saturday, and for captain Joe Edwards, it enhanced the positivity that is pervading Home Park at the moment.

As anticipation builds for Argyle’s first season in the Sky Bet Championship in more than a dozen years, wins such as this one against Forest Green can only magnify the eagerness to get going.

With the opening game two weeks away, Joe is clearly champing at the bit to get under way. 

“I thought the boys played some really good stuff,” he said, after the Forest Green victoruy. “We were a lot more clinical today, some brilliant finishes. We worked on some good patterns of play, which we've been looking to do over the week.

“We've been improving our fitness levels, improving how we want to play and learning the different sort of things we're doing at the moment.

“There's a definite buzz about the place. Each day you get nearer is going to build on that. We're preparing right. We're doing everything we can. We know it's going to be a tough challenge, but it is something that we're going to step up and really grasp.

“Everyone's excited. I personally can't wait for it. This week, for obvious reasons, has made it even more exciting.”

Should they not be obvious to all, Joe’s reference is to the arrival – or, perhaps we should say, the re-arrival – of Morgan Whittaker and Bali Mumba to Home Park. Both players impressed on loan last season, both have now become permanent Pilgrims, and both have notched goals since putting pen to paper.

Whittaker, signed on Monday, scored a volley at Torquay United on Tuesday, and followed that with another well hit left-foot strike against Forest Green. That came after Bali, who arrived on Friday, quickly got in on the act by scoring Argyle’s third against Rovers.

“It's given the boys a massive lift in the changing room,” said Joe. “We've always had a great dressing room here. These two have come in this week will add to that and the quality they've shown, even just today is amazing.

“Morgan's a brilliant player and a lovely lad. He’s happy here, he's welcome here - and he plays his best football here. He's at a place where he feels at home, which is where people perform to their maximum.

“If we can get the maximum out of him, then we’re in for a brilliant season with a fantastic player.

“Bali’s also brilliant on and off the pitch. He's a great lad. He's brilliant to have around the place. He’s so enthusiastic and again, similar to Morgan, I think he plays his best football when he is loved and when he is enjoying himself - that's what he is here.

“Both players are loved by us lot as a team and obviously the fans. He's got all the ability in the world to go on and do what he needs to do.

“We’re lucky to have both of them.”

Whittaker and Mumba are already familiar with their surroundings and many of their team-mates, but they are not the only summer arrivals. Julio Pleguezuelo, Kaine Kesler-Hayden, Lewis Gibson and Conor Hazard have all signed during the close season, and the suggestion is that more faces will be appearing.

As captain, Joe feels he has a role in ensuring that the transition for the new signings into the established environment is an easy one.

“It's just making sure that they are settled,” he said. “We've signed some really good players, amd some good people as well. They've all added to the changing room. It's a great place to be and we try and make it a good environment to walk into.

“One of my responsibilities is to make sure they are okay and they're settled in alright. Anything they need, they can always come to me and I think they know that. It's part and parcel of playing for Argyle. You join a little family which is on the road a lot but we’re together a lot.

“You need good personalities and good people. We've got that with the lads the gaffer’s brought in. If I can help them feel comfortable and welcome, then I'll do that.”

Away Kit