Ashley Hemmings has revealed Plymouth Argyle’s team-spirit was the key factor in persuading him to remain at Home Park for the remainder of the season.
The exciting 20-year-old winger, borrowed from Wolverhampton Wanderers in November, claimed he wanted to finish what he helped start and ensure the Pilgrims move away from the League Two relegation zone.
Londoner Hemmings said the warmth of the Green Army had made him feel right at home in the South West.
A product of the Wolves academy, Hemmings (right) insisted those factors and the challenge of playing regularly had made extending his loan an easy decision to make.
He told Herald Sport: “To be honest, it’s down to the team-spirit and the lads who have helped me to settle in great.
“The fans have been brilliant, too, and I’m really grateful to them for making me welcome – even when I’m out and about in Plymouth.
“I think what they want to see is someone come down here (on loan), do well and graft for the team.
“So, I’d like to give them something back for their support and making me so happy here.
“And it’s a challenge for me, at what is a young age, and I’m loving the experience.
“I really want to help Argyle stay in the League and move up to where they deserve to be.”
Hemmings gave a more than fair indication of his commitment to the Argyle cause with a man-of-the-match performance against Burton Albion at Home Park last weekend.
He was busy on both flanks, swapping over with fellow wideman, Luke Young, and was a constant thorn in the side of Paul Peschisolido’s promotion-chasing Brewers in Argyle’s 2-1 victory.
Hemmings said: “It’s something I love doing in a match – starting out on the left and then switching on to the right.
“It’s great being able to attack down both lines. On the left-hand side, when I get the ball I’ll just hare off and try and fire a cross over.
“But on the right, I can get the ball and then, as I’m left-footed, can cut in and if I think there is something on I’ll have a shot at goal.”
And it was the 89th-minute trip on Hemmings in the box which led to Pilgrims’ captain Simon Walton grabbing the winner from the penalty spot.
Hemmings was naturally delighted with that particular performance, but is at pains to point out Argyle have, potentially, an even more difficult prospect on Saturday at home to high-flying Crawley Town.
He also paid tribute to midfielder Paul Wotton for his encouragement on what was the Plymothian’s second Argyle debut.
Hemmings said: “Paul wished me luck before we went out on to the pitch and he encouraged me to go out and show what I could do.
“He knows I can get past players and get the ball across and he said ‘just carry on doing what you’re good at’.
“Against Burton, who are a good team, we came in at half-time at no-goals and we felt that we had a real chance and could definitely get three points out of it.
“That was down to the spirit we had during the break, and it helped to lift us.”
Hemmings scored on his Argyle debut in the 4-1 win over Northampton Town at Home Park on November 26 – a victory which ushered in a welcome five-match unbeaten run for the Pilgrims.
The winger is clearly hoping the win over Burton leads to another unbroken sequence with Argyle’s Football League status still far from secure.
He said; “I wasn’t here when we played Crawley (and lost 2-0) up there in October.
“But I know that we have improved a lot since that match and I’m convinced we’re going to give them a great game.
“We’re hoping, as it’s at home as well, that we can get three points, to be honest.”
ARGYLE’S Football in the Community Trust are recruiting for their successful Education and Development Programme by holding an open evening at Home Park tomorrow.
The Trust is looking for young players of school leaving age, male or female, with a passion to play football at a high level, to take academic studies under the guidance of Argyle while at the same time honing their footballing talents.
The programme sees 16 to 18-year-olds participate in a number of academic studies alongside football coaching and a games programme run by Argyle coaches.
It does not stop players training or playing for their local teams. In fact, the Trust encourage this and would like players to stay within local football.
For players currently studying in school Year 11, tomorrow evening will give an insight into the course.
It will take place in the boardroom at Home Park, from 6pm for girls and 7pm for boys.
Argyle defender, and ambassador for the programme, Darren Purse will also be in attendance to discuss the importance of the programme.
If you would like to attend the open evening contact Mark Lovell on Plymouth 562561, option four, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org