Green Barmy: Much common ground to be found between Devon rivals
THERE are often many links between football's near-neighbours, and Plymouth Argyle's short trip to Torquay United this afternoon revives plenty of memories.
The obvious links between players who have played in green and yellow, though, can overshadow those who held managerial or coaching positions – particularly at Plainmoor.
In the list of current incumbent, Martin Ling's predecessors, five have been on the Home Park payroll in one capacity or other down the years.
The first of those, Malcolm Musgrove, took his interest of amateur football with him when he embarked into service life.
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Through National Service with the Royal Air Force, he played in representative sides.
Returning to civilian life, he joined West Ham United in 1953 and amassed 301 appearances for the Hammers, mainly on the left wing.
His coaching career began nine years later when he not only signed for Leyton Orient as a player-coach, but also became chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association.
More coaching roles followed at Charlton Athletic and Aston Villa before Musgrove joined his former West Ham team-mate Frank O'Farrell at Leicester City.
Working as assistant manager, Leicester won promotion to the top flight in 1971, Their success was noted by Manchester United, who persuaded O'Farrell to leave his post to move to Old Trafford.
Musgrove also made the switch, and remained until the dismissal of O'Farrell just over a year later.
Deciding to become a manager in his own right, Musgrove then took over at Torquay United in January, 1973. In an uncanny twist, it was the same role O'Farrell had held five years earlier.
The coincidence had one further twist as, on leaving Torquay in November 1976, Musgrove was replaced by his former mentor, with O'Farrell once again becoming head man at the Gulls.
Musgrove, meanwhile, headed for the United States, coaching at the Connecticut Bicentennials and fellow North American Soccer League side Chicago Sting.
On returning to these shores, he took up a position as coach and physiotherapist with Exeter City before he was made redundant in 1984, after which he became a physio for the Football Association of Qatar.
But he was back in the South West two years later and worked alongside the successful Argyle managerial team of Dave Smith and Martin Harvey.
Musgrove would eventually leave Home Park to team up with another former Hammer – John Bond at Shrewsbury Town.
Go further back in time, by just over a decade, and Argyle fans will recall a central defender who was also club captain and enjoyed the feeling of promotion in his first season at Home Park.
Mike Green played for his hometown club of Carlisle United, and joined Argyle for £19,000 after spells with Gillingham and Bristol Rovers.
Always with an air of calmness on the field, Green's final move took him to Plainmoor in March 1977, with the Gulls paying a fee of £5,000 to make him player-manager.
Green arrived at Torquay with O'Farrell having taken the role of general manager, leaving the former Pilgrim to concentrate solely on playing matters.
After 88 league appearances, in which he scored seven goals, Green hung up his boots to focus solely on managing the side.
Turning Torquay into a side challenging for promotion was no mean feat on a very limited budget. He even turned down the invitation to manage his former club, Bristol Rovers, who were at the time in Division Two.
However, it didn't quite work out at Torquay, and he left the club in May 1981. O'Farrell stepped into the role of United manager for a third time.
The next name on the list of former Argyle employees who took charge at Torquay may come as a surprise to some.
Beginning his career as an apprentice with Derby County, John Sims only made a handful of first-team outings at the Baseball Ground, but could boast a substitute appearance in a European Cup semi-final against the mighty Juventus.
A transfer to Notts County was a stopover en route to Exeter City, managed by former Argyle favourite Bobby Saxton. When Saxton returned to Home Park, this time as manager, Sims followed, with a hefty fee of £22,500 for the striker.
Sims notched 49 goals in 185 league and cup appearances for the Pilgrims before beginning his association with the Gulls. His on-field career was brief on the English Riviera, but after initially becoming a player-coach, Sims was instilled as manager. However, it was one of the shortest stints of any manager in the professional game, as his tenure lasted a mere 33 days.
The aforementioned Dave Smith has a very special place in Home Park folklore.
The self-styled 'Ciderman' enjoyed an 11-year playing career with Burnley that began at the age of 16.
After short spells with Brighton & Hove Albion and Bristol City, he took up coaching with Sheffield Wednesday.
Similar roles followed at Newcastle United and Arsenal before taking up his first managerial position with Mansfield Town.
Following the immediate task of the avoidance of applying for re-election, Mansfield raced to the Division Four title in 1975, six points ahead of their nearest rivals and going through the season unbeaten at home.
Promotion from the same division was repeated at Southend United, although his reign at Roots Hall was hampered by those involved in a takeover of the club.
After a brief spell out of the game until December 1984, he replaced Johnny Hore at Home Park.
Not only did he lead a classic Argyle side to promotion from Division Three, but was desperately close to making the play-offs for promotion to Division One.
In 1988, Smith travelled to his native Scotland to take charge at Dundee, but just a year later was back in Devon.
His work at Torquay on a tight budget again defied the odds.
The final link in the managerial line at Plainmoor comes in the shape of Argyle's club record appearance holder, Kevin Hodges.
Making his debut against Bury in 1978, the popular right-sided player looks set to keep his record – 530 League appearances in a total of 620 competitive matches – for a good few years yet.
During his 15 years as a player with Argyle, Hodges was rewarded with a testimonial against West Ham United after 10 years, and another five years later against Luton Town.
Playing in Smith's successful side was another feather in the cap for Hodges, who was also a key figure in the club's run to the 1983-84 FA Cup semi-finals.
When promotion to Division Two was secured in 1986, Hodges had the distinction of an ever-present record throughout that memorable season.
Towards the end of his playing days, Hodges had a short loan spell with Torquay. He was soon back at Plainmoor for his first taste of management after extending his playing career by another 81 appearances to take him past the 700-mark.
He then led United to the Third Division play-off final of 1998 before being appointed as manager of Argyle, replacing Mick Jones.
Following his departure from Home Park in 2000, Hodges wasn't long out of football.
He held a scouting position for Wolverhampton Wanderers, became the football development officer for the Somerset FA, managed Clevedon Town and was also assistant manager to Steve Thompson at Yeovil Town.
Today, Hodges is back with Argyle as the club's academy manager.
Who knows, of those on duty in today's derby, where will their careers take them once their playing days are over?