Plymouth Argyle captain Conor Hourihane set to make 100th appearance for club
CAPTAIN Conor Hourihane is poised to make his 100th appearance for Argyle when they play Accrington Stanley at Home Park tomorrow.
Hourihane, 22, has been a regular for the Pilgrims regardless of whether the manager has been Peter Reid, Carl Fletcher or John Sheridan.
The Irish midfielder was signed from Ipswich Town in July 2011, when Argyle were in administration and facing up to an uncertain future.
He has since made 93 starts and six substitute appearances in all competitions, and scored eight goals.
Hourihane also took over as Argyle's captain last January after the departure of experienced defender Darren Purse to Port Vale.
He had not featured in any first team football at Sunderland or Ipswich before Reid brought him to Home Park.
Only three other members of the current squad have clocked up 100- plus appearances for the Pilgrims.
They are Paul Wotton (477), Luke McCormick (164) and Nick Chadwick (137) – and all of them are in their second spells at the club.
Hourihane admitted he had not realised he was about to reach his century for Argyle.
He told Herald Sport: "It has come up quick. I came here to play as many games as I could, so it's good to rack up 100.
"A couple more goals would have been nice, I suppose, but 93 starts is quite good. It means the managers that were here previously have put their trust and faith in me. I must be doing something right.
"This manager (Sheridan) obviously thinks the same so I'm happy with that."
Hourihane made his debut for Argyle in the 2011/12 season-opening 1-1 draw away to Shrewsbury Town, when Fletcher – then the captain – scored a last-gasp equaliser.
"It was probably one of the best games I have been involved in with Plymouth," said Hourihane. "When I came here we were in tough times and weren't expected to get anything out of that game.
"It was a team which had been put together at the last minute and Carl came up with a great goal. The celebration was fantastic afterwards.
"It threw me straight into the deep end but I really enjoyed it and it was something that will live with me for a long time."
Hourihane has two favourite games for Argyle, including the 1-0 victory over Exeter City at Home Park on Easter Saturday earlier this year.
That win, clinched by a goal from Jason Banton, proved vital in the Pilgrims' successful escape from relegation.
Hourihane said: "We came out and the place was full to the rafters. The atmosphere was fantastic and to get the win, with the position we were in, was fantastic as well.
"It was a shame we went to York two days later and didn't put in a great performance because it meant we didn't get to enjoy it.
"Looking back on it now, it was a great day and a great occasion."
Hourihane also picked out Argyle's away game against Bristol Rovers on Boxing Day 2011 as one of his favourites, when they rallied for a two-goal deficit to win 3-2.
As for ones to forget, Hourihane picked out two televised FA Cup defeats away to non-League opposition.
Argyle lost 2-0 to Stourbridge in a first round replay in November 2011 and Hourihane received a red card when the Pilgrims were beaten 1-0 by Dorchester 12 months later.