Pilgrims-Morecambe links are rare but two of the best
ARGYLE are in the North West this afternoon where they face hosts Morecambe.
Last season saw the first league meetings between the sides, and in this series of connections between clubs it could be a struggle to think of many.
But two notable names of both clubs' pasts provide some strong links.
Keith Hill set out on his career in football with Blackburn Rovers.
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He made 96 appearances, culminating in a solitary Premier League game at the start of the 1992/93 season. But he played a pivotal role in helping the club towards play-off glory to take a place in the historic first season of Premier League football.
Hill's first move brought him to Devon in something of a complex transfer arrangement.
Keeping him company on the trip from Ewood Park was winger Craig Skinner, while Nick Marker moved in the opposite direction to join Kenny Dalglish's side.
Hill became a popular member of the playing staff at Home Park as Peter Shilton built a side which just failed to clinch promotion.
With the Pilgrims finishing third in Division Two at the conclusion of the 1993/94 season, the play-offs beckoned despite a final day, record-breaking 8-1 win at Hartlepool United.
Hill took his usual position in both legs of the meeting against Burnley.
Although the first leg ended in a goalless draw at Turf Moor, Hill's partner in central defence, Adrian Burrows, was controversially sent off for handball and was suspended for the return leg.
Despite Dwight Marshall's goal, Argyle fell to a 3-1 defeat and the big-spending squad that had been assembled had failed to reap any reward.
After 123 league appearances, Hill moved back north in 1996 to begin his association with Rochdale.
His five years at Spotland saw him again become a regular first-teamer with 156 league appearances amassed.
Next stop was Cheltenham, albeit for a year which included a two-month spell on loan with Wrexham.
In August 2002, he then signed for Morecambe to play in 20 Conference fixtures.
His retirement from being a reliable defender as well as a jovial character in the dressing-room led him to coaching.
An opening at a former club provided him with the opportunity to begin a new career path where he took the position of Rochdale's director of youth.
A change of circumstance at Spotland saw Steve Parkin's three-year reign as manager come to an end.
Hill stepped in, in December 2006 initially as caretaker manager and not the best of starts saw a 2-1 defeat against MK Dons which left Rochdale in the relegation zone.
But the next game saw a resounding 4-0 win against Boston United and a move above the dreaded relegation line.
There was daylight, not only for the team but for the ambitions of Hill, who guided the club to another handsome 4-0 win.
The boardroom decided to make Hill's appointment permanent in January 2007 and it proved to be a shrewd decision both in the short and long-term.
Defying all the odds of the early season form, Rochdale were lifted to a finishing position of ninth and the first task of Hill's managerial career had been completed.
In his first full season in charge, the momentum continued as the club reached the end-of-season play-offs.
There was further hope when Darlington were brushed aside on penalties in the semi-finals.
But against Stockport County in the final, Dale were cruelly beaten 3-2.
The following season, 2008/09, saw Hill once again guide his team to the play-offs, only to be beaten by eventual winners Gillingham. But glory was not far away.
At the third attempt, Rochdale gained automatic promotion from League Two, lifting the club out of the basement division of the Football League for the first time since 1974 – a lifetime for fans under the age of 35!
Although the thought of simply avoiding relegation in the first season of League One could have been excused, expectations were exceeded.
In gaining 68 points, Rochdale ended their bow in the third tier in ninth position, which meant that Hill had steered his charges to a highest finishing position since the 1969/70 season.
A young manager with success at an early age is always going to court attention and Hill was granted permission to speak with Barnsley about their vacant managerial position.
After a short time of deliberation, he joined the Championship club where he remains today.
What of the other notable names that link Argyle and Morecambe?
It may come to a surprise to many that he was born in Norway.
The biggest clue of all would be that he became the most decorated Pilgrim in terms of international appearances.
Starting his career at Birmingham City, Tony Capaldi is a player who can play either on the left side of midfield, but can also, like Argyle's Onismor Bhasera capably play at left-back.
An extra weapon in his armoury is that he is a specialist at long throw-ins.
Coming through the youth scheme at St Andrews, Capaldi made 12 appearances for Hereford United during the 2001/02 campaign and a loan spell at Edgar Street.
Although he failed to break into the Birmingham first-team, the Argyle scouting network worked wonders for manager Paul Sturrock, who signed Capaldi.
His debut was made in the final game of the 2002/03 season, when substitute Nathan Lowndes scored the only goal of the home game against Wycombe Wanderers.
With international appearances at each level from under-15s to under-19s, Capaldi collected 14 under-21 caps before embarking on a international career.
His 22 full caps for Northern Ireland are the pinnacles of his career, which was often beset with injuries.
His full international debut was in a 1-0 win over Estonia and he will also be remembered for being part of the team who defeated England in September 2005.
Indeed, he has just broken into the Oxford United first team after a prolonged period out of the game.
He scored 12 goals in 141 league appearances for Argyle before his departure, which came in unfortunate circumstances to many Pilgrims fans, but not one that is uncommon in the modern game.
His contract was up for renewal, but he decided to take a better offer from Cardiff City, joining the Welsh side during the summer of 2007.
To make matters worse for Argyle supporters who did not want to see him leave Home Park, at the end of his first season with the Bluebirds he appeared in the FA Cup final where his side lost to a single goal against Portsmouth.
A short period with Leeds United on loan in November 2009 helped him back to full fitness after a knee injury.
When he was released by Cardiff, having lost his place in the side, there were thoughts of him returning to Plymouth. Indeed, he did appear on trial with the Pilgrims as he also did with Crystal Palace and Hearts.
But to gain his sights on the realism of regular first team football, he had to set his sights lower and signed a short-term deal with Morecambe in September 2010.
Manager Sammy McIlroy knew Capaldi well, having previously been his Northern Ireland boss.
Capaldi featured in 18 league matches before once more being forced to look for another club.
After playing in two trial matches with Aberdeen, Capaldi signed for his current club Oxford last June.
Maybe the links between Argyle and Morecambe are few and far between, but the two players highlighted have certainly made their mark at Home Park.