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Championship Season Preview Plymouth Argyle

Plymouth Argyle Odds: 100/1 Last Five Seasons 2005/06 - 14 (Championship), 2004/05 - 17 (Championship), 2003/04 - 1 (League One, Promoted), 2002/03 - 8 (League One), 2001/02 - 1 (League Two, Promoted). 2005/06 Cup Progress FA Cup Third Round vs Wolves (a) - lost 1-0. Carling Cup Second Round vs Barnet (a) - lost 2-1. Top Goal Scorer 2005/06: Paul Wotton (midfield) - 9 goals.

Players In Sylvain Ebanks-Blake (Manchester United - 200,000), Barry Hayles (Millwall - Free). Players Out Mickey Evans (Torquay United - Free). Plymouth Argyle have held their own in their two seasons in the Championship following their promotion from League One in the 2003/04 season. They improved on their first season by finishing in a comfortable fourteenth position at the end of last term. The club has appointed former Queens Park Rangers boss Ian Holloway as their new manager after Tony Pulis left to manage his former club Stoke City.

Holloway was suspended by Rangers in February after persistent rumours linking him with the then vacant manager's position at Leicester City. Holloway has wasted little time in the transfer market replacing veteran striker Mickey Evans, who left Plymouth for the second time at the end of the season to join League Two outfit Torquay United. He signed Manchester United striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake on a three year contract for a potential club record fee. The 20 year old striker joined for an initial fee of 200,000, which could rise to over 300,000 depending on the forward's appearances. Veteran striker Barry Hayles joined from relegated Millwall for a reported fee of 100,000. The 34 year old links up with Holloway again after they worked together at Bristol Rovers.

Dwight Yorke was also a transfer target but the Championship club were put off by the 34 year old's salary of over 1 million a year. Holloway tried to persuade the former Aston Villa, Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers striker, now at Sydney FC, to return to England. Player of the year David Norris committed himself to the club by signing a two year contract extension. The 25 year old midfielder's current deal was due to expire at the end of next season but will now remain at Home Park until June 2009. Goalkeeper Luke McCormick has also signed a two year extension to his current contract. The 23 year old product from the youth system will also stay at the club until the end of the 2008/09 campaign.

Verdict New manager Ian Holloway will relish getting back into management, especially at a club from his native West Country. However, it will be another tough season for the Pilgrims with survival their first priority.

David Walker runs Totalbet free bet and football betting systems websites. A free email course: "Seven Days to Better Betting" is available at both of these websites.



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