Plymouth Argyle coach relishing derby battles
PLYMOUTH Argyle coach Kevin Nancekivell is relishing the prospect of Devon derbies against Exeter City and Torquay United in League Two next season.
It will be the first time the county's three professional clubs have been in the same division since 2001/02.
That was when the Pilgrims, under the management of Paul Sturrock, won what is now called League Two with a record 102 points.
Exeter were relegated from League One earlier this month after finishing in 23rd position, eight points from safety.
Come and have a look at the extensive range of tiles we have in stock at our Drake Mill, Estover showroom. Most items in stock to take away or delivery option available.
Terms: Showromm open Monday to Thursday 9am - 5pm and Friday 9am - 3pm.
Contact: 01752 421047
Valid until: Saturday, June 15 2013
Torquay were fifth in League Two, following a campaign which saw them convincingly beat Argyle at home and away.
But the Gulls lost 4-1 on aggregate to Cheltenham Town in the two-legged play-off semi-finals.
Nancekivell expected there would be friendly but fierce rivalry between Argyle, Exeter and Torquay next season.
He told Herald Sport: "All three of us are used to being on the road so it will be a nice break to have two away games which are only 45 minutes away.
"It creates a lot of local interest and guarantees big gates, hopefully over Bank Holiday periods.
"We played Torquay at Home Park on January 2 this year and there were nearly 13,000 people there that day."
Exeter spent three seasons in League One after back-to-back promotions, starting from the Football Conference.
Manager Paul Tisdale has been City's manager for the last six years and Nancekivell has great respect for him.
He said: "Paul and his staff have done a fantastic job in keeping Exeter in League One for three seasons.
"They are a good footballing team and the players know the system and understand the philosophy behind it.
"I expect them to be very strong in League Two next season."
Argyle's games against Exeter are always keenly-anticipated and Nancekivell expects it to be no different in 2012/13.
The last time the teams met was in April 2011, when Exeter beat Argyle 1-0 at St James' Park to effectively relegate the visitors from League One.
Nancekivell was there that day, although not in an official capacity for the Pilgrims.
He said: "It was not a nice feeling to lose that game, but there is great rivalry between the clubs and that's the way it should be."
Torquay completed the double over Argyle last season by beating them 3-0 at Plainmoor – before Nancekivell stepped up to his first team role from the youth coaching ranks – and 2-1 at Home Park.
Nancekivell said: "They were probably one of the strongest sides we played against.
"They played some terrific football and fully deserved to be in the play-offs, and are unlucky not to be going up."
Nancekivell was impressed with the work done by Torquay manager Martin Ling in his first season at Plainmoor.
Ling was assisted by Plymouth-born former Bristol City defender Shaun Taylor.
Nancekivell said: "Torquay play with three in midfield _ (Lee) Mansell, (Eunan) O'Kane and (Damon) Lathrope and they have got a great understanding in there."
Torquay lost 2-0 away to Cheltenham in the first leg of their play-off semi-final, before being beaten 2-1 at Plainmoor last Thursday.
Nancekivell said: "I watched both games on TV and they couldn't have done a lot more than they did in the second leg. They will be licking their wounds at the moment but what a fantastic season they have had."
While Argyle will have two away Devon derbies next season for the first time in 11 years, they will also have some long trips to the north.
Fleetwood Town and York have both been promoted from the Conference.
Argyle will also have to visit Accrington Stanley, Bradford City, Chesterfield, Morecambe and Rotherham United.
Nancekivell said: "We are used to all the travelling and use it to our advantage. We prepare properly and it's not a problem."