Gareth Law

Gareth Law on Returning to Argyle

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It is only a little over three years since Gareth Law left Argyle after a year working in the club’s physiotherapy department, but after returning to Home Park fold recently, he has already noticed a world of difference.

Law has been appointed as Argyle’s Head of Physiotherapy, leaving Exeter City, where he had been since June 2019, in a similar role.

Gareth departed Argyle in the wake of a relegation at the end of the 2018/19 season, just before Ryan Lowe took over as the Pilgrims boss. It was a time of flux at Home Park on and off the pitch, with a return to Sky Bet League Two along with the ongoing renovation of the stadium.

Now, with the team at the top end of League One, and those improvements completed, Law sees a literally and figurative development around Home Park.

“It’s a very different club now to when I was here previously,” said Gareth. “I was here when the old changing rooms and medical room was here, and we transitioned into the Portakabin. We did get into the changing rooms that we are in now, but we were wearing hard hats!

“We got relegated and I wasn’t sure what, position-wise, was available for me here, so I made the decision to leave. Once this position became available, I was always up for coming back.

“We have fantastic facilities now. Club-wise, it’s different management, different ideas and different ambitions. The club’s on the up, and it’s great to be on board.”

Although over three years since he was an Argyle employee, it is not all that long since Gareth has been at Home Park, for personal and professional reasons.

He is the father of wing back Ryan Law, who has played 31 games for Argyle’s first team, having progressed through the club’s academy, and is currently on loan at Gillingham.

In addition, Law Senior’s most recent employers faced Argyle at the end of October. It was a thrilling 4-2 victory for Argyle on that night, although Gareth’s Grecian allegiance at the time meant he did enjoy the event as we did.

“I came back a couple of weeks ago with Exeter,” he said. “It was a full house, a special night – although not for me at the time!

“My son has been at Argyle for many years, I’ve been here as a supporter of his on many occasions.

“It was a difficult decision to leave Exeter. I had a good time there, the club looked after me really well. I got on with all the players and the staff.

“Exeter are ambitious in themselves, but for me it was a case of where Schuey sees himself and the club going, and you can see what is being put in and infrastructure and the way the club is developing off the pitch.”

Before going into physiotherapy, Law had a professional career with Torquay United, whom he later became the physio for, and spent over a decade in the Gulls’ medical department.

Gareth believes that his experience on the pitch can aid him in bringing along the recovery of Argyle’s current crop of pros. He also outlined some of his philosophies when it comes to his important role, including revealing that he is assessing all of Argyle’s current medical provisions.

“At the moment, I am doing a review of everything we have got,” he said. “We need to develop a gym. We travel to one, but it’s not ideal because it is off-site. Marjon are great, Derriford Nuffield is fantastic. The fact we can go there and use the facilities is great, but we’d like a little bit more on site.

“I want to be the best, so that’s where we have got to get to.

“I think when it comes to the position-specific side of things, and the rehab, a wing back is going to be slightly different to a centre half, for example. My experience helps to know what is required in that position. I can then focus my sessions around that.

“I try to get them on the pitch as early as possible, but it’s got to be safe. The goal is to get outside, because that’s where the player wants to be. It’s a target, a piece of goal-setting, and once we achieve that, the player is happy, and the gaffer is happy seeing them on the pitch.

“The health and safety of the players is paramount. We all want results, but at the end of the day sometimes a player needs to miss one game so he can play the next six. You can chuck him in and he might miss the next six because you risked him too early.

“I want a nice, clear medical room. I don’t anyone in there; that’s my goal, an empty medical room. If I’ve done that, then I’ve done my job properly.”

Gareth actually has one more goal that he would like to achieve this season. Having been part of the backroom staff at Torquay when they got into the EFL, and with Exeter last season as they achieved promotion, Law wants to complete the Devon set.

He said “I’ve had a promotion from the National League to League Two, and from League Two to League One. I want to get the triple.”

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