By Paul Eddison
IF GOOD things come to those who wait, then new Plymouth signing Yann Songo’o’s gamble of a year out of professional football could be about to pay off.
The Cameroonian centre-back joined League Two Argyle over the summer having spent a season out of the game following a fruitless two years at Blackburn.
Still only 24, Songo’o – the son of legendary Indomitable Lions keeper Jacques – has enjoyed a nomadic career so far, having played in Spain, the USA, England and, perhaps crucially, Scotland.
During his ill-fated spell at Ewood Park from 2013-15, Songo’o made just two League Cup appearances, but a five-month loan move to Ross County could turn into the defining period of his career.
Working under Derek Adams, Songo’o established himself at Victoria Park and did enough to convince the current Argyle manager he can help the club get over last season’s Wembley play-off disappointment.
“You need someone to believe in you and trust in you,” said Songo’o, who trained with Argyle last season before officially signing in June.
“Derek knew me from before and really pushed me. He got 100 percent out of me, so I’m happy to be working with him again.
“Last year, I had the opportunity to go to a few teams, to Spain or the USA, after my last year at Blackburn, which wasn’t the best.
“My agent told me to get the best situation and I’ve always thought England is the best place to play football and especially the way I play. So, I’m really pleased to get the chance at Plymouth.
“It’s great with the fans and stadiums here.
“I’ve spent a lot of the last season in my residence in Spain but had the chance to train with Plymouth for three weeks, so I already know some of the players.
“I am feeling fit, but pre-season was difficult for me after a year out of professional football.
“But I think I’m ready to help Plymouth improve on last year.”
Argyle spent much of last season in the battle for automatic promotion from League Two, but a rough patch in March saw them slip out of the top three.
They eventually finished fifth before going down to AFC Wimbledon 2-0 in the play-off final.
Now, with skipper and centre-back Curtis Nelson joining Oxford in the off-season, there are question marks over whether Argyle can challenge for promotion once more.
The board of directors clearly have faith in Adams, who was rewarded for his efforts in his debut season at Home Park with a new four-year deal.
Now Adams needs Songo’o to repay the faith shown in him.
“There was always a lot of pressure with my dad,” Songo’o said of his father, who won 98 caps for Cameroon as well as making more than 150 appearances for Deportivo La Coruña.
“When I started people would say I was only there because of my dad but he was great and let me do my own thing.
“It’s a really good squad here at Plymouth and everyone is positive.
“When you get to a final, it’s always tough if you don’t go up, but we have to build on that.
“We’ve been doing really well in pre-season, scoring goals and doing well defensively.”
*This article originally featured in The Football League Paper on 7 August 2016.