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Gurrieri completes his Argyle move

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 04, 2012

Darren Purse is looking forward to facing Birmingham again Dave Rowntree

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Argentine winger Andres Gurrieri has completed his move to Plymouth Argyle on a one-year contract.

It follows his successful trial with the League two club over the past week, during which time he has played in two pre-season friendlies.

Gurrieri featured in the away wins against Weston-super-Mare (3-1) last Friday and Tiverton Town (2-1) on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old will be part of Argyle's squad for their penultimate pre-season friendly, against Championship club Birmingham City at Home Park (3pm).

He was released by Burton Albion at the end of last season, after making six starts and eight substitute appearances for the Brewers.

Gurrieri had a trial with Argyle last pre-season and appeared on the verge of signing a contract, only for the deal to fall through.

The tricky winger, who can play on either side of the pitch, will wear the number 27 shirt for the Pilgrims.

Meanwhile, former Birmingham captain Darren Purse will lead out Plymouth Argyle in their pre-season friendly against the npower Championship club at Home Park today.

Purse, 35, spent six years with the Blues, making a total of 202 appearances, after signing from Oxford United for £700,000 in 1998. He was a key member of their squad when they clinched promotion to the Premier League in 2002, after play-off semi-final defeats in the previous three seasons.

Purse also played – and scored – for Birmingham in the 2001 League Cup final against Liverpool, when they were beaten in a penalty shoot-out. His time with the Blues came to an end in 2004, when he was snapped up by West Bromwich Albion for £750,000.

Purse still has a close affinity with Birmingham, and hopes they can secure a return to the Premier League this season. He said: "I spent six years there and all my kids were born in Warwickshire.

"I loved being at the club and they gave me the opportunity to play in the Premier League as well. On a personal note, scoring in a Cup final is always massive. But playing in the Premier League is probably bigger than that.

"We were knocking on the door for four years, and in the fourth year we finally got promoted. To stay up in our first season, when we were favourites for relegation, is probably my favourite memory."

Purse attended a tenth anniversary reunion of the Blues' 2001-02 promotion-winning squad earlier this summer. He said: "It shows you the way the club was when you have got people like Stan Lazaridis flying over from Australia, Nico Vaesen from Belgium and Stern John from Trinidad.

"It was a good club and everybody really enjoyed playing for Birmingham. For people like that to travel so many miles to come back for a reunion shows you the high regard they have for the club."

Purse has only played against Birmingham once since leaving St Andrew's – and it was a match he would rather forget. He said: "I went back with West Bromwich and got beat 5-0 so that's not the best memory!"

Birmingham were relegated from the Premier League in 2011 and finished fourth in the Championship last term. Since then, manager Chris Hughton has taken over at Norwich City and has been replaced by Lee Clark.

Purse said: "Chris Hughton really built a good foundation at the club last season and I think Lee Clark will do well. It's too big a club to be outside the Premier League. It needs to be in there, and the fans and everybody around the club deserve that."

The clash against Birmingham will be Argyle's fifth, and penultimate, pre-season friendly. It will be followed by the visit of Preston North End to Home Park next Wednesday (7.45pm).

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  • helterfc  |  August 04 2012, 2:23PM

    Good luck, Andres. Hope you shine for us.