Times Sport editor John Hutchins offers his personal opinion on the events, topics and personalities in the world of sport.
THE Greens are going up. The Greens are going up! — No, I’m not talking about the Retail Price Index or the price of broccoli and sprouts.
As regular readers of Sports Talk will know, I’m a Plymouth Argyle fan, and on Easter Monday, after a roller coaster of a season, they secured promotion from Division Two, after many frustrating years at the basement of the Football League.
I was privileged to be there for the historic moment – well ‘historic’ if you are an Argyle supporter – on a glorious sunny afternoon, at the mecca of world football, Home Park, with 14,000 other football fans.
A deserved, if unexpected, 6-1 thumping of second from bottom Newport County was the perfect way to confirm their promotion in front of their long suffering supporters.
It seems such a long time ago when the Pilgrims, after consecutive promotions under manager Paul Sturrock, were riding high in the Championship before the good ship ‘Argyle’ began to lose its way and hit the iceberg of financial administration – sinking, rapidly, to the depths of Football League division two.
This promotion, under the very capable Derek Adams, was not always pretty. Argyle’s away form, with a record 13 away wins so far, has been unusually better than their home record. In my opinion, the football this season by Argyle has been erratic – sometimes, sharp and penetrating, other times too reliant on steely defence, the break away goal and giving away the ball too easily. However, it was never going to be easy to get out of division two but they have done the job — so well done to captain Luke McCormick, Graham Carey, Jermaine Jarvis, Sonny Bradley and the rest of the team.
One thing I was impressed with though, was some of the Newport County supporters, who, despite the long journey, expense, heavy defeat and derision by some Argyle fans, clapped off the Plymouth team in respect of their achievement. They are true football fans as far as I’m concerned.
So for Argyle fans next season, we can forget matches footballing minnows like Hartlepool, Grimsby and Accrington Stanley; now they have bigger fish to fry – such as the might of Port Vale, MK Dons and Shrewsbury.
Roll on next season! I can’t wait.