Kingsbridge-born Tom Putt had a season at Plymouth Albion when he was just 17 and now returns to the team for the forthcoming season where he hopes to put his skills to good use.
“I’m proud that I have had a high percentage of success as a goal kicker from a young age,” he says. “It’s very important and I take a great deal of pride in it.”
Tom got into rugby at the age of ten at Kingsbridge Rugby Club and joined the Academy at Exeter Chiefs, while studying for a BTEC in sport at Bicton College. He stayed at Exeter for two years and then came down to Albion for the 2015/16 season before a shoulder injury put paid to his playing.
Fully recovered Tom signed for Darlington Mowden, then Brixham, Newton Abbot and now Plymouth as a full back/fly half.
“I loved it at Albion the first year I was there. Things changed for me that season but I couldn’t really stay because I wanted to be playing full-time and Darlington offered me that. I’m really pleased to be back in Plymouth, studying at Marjon and playing at Albion,” he says.
“I feel that I’ve learnt a lot but I’m still fresh to rugby. And it’s great to be back with some of the boys who were here last time, like Dan Collier, Dan Mugford and Dean Squires because it helps you settle in.“
Tom’s family do have connections to Albion, however. His dad, Jason, played for Albion in the year Tom was born, 1997, and has also played for Kingsbridge and Brixham.
“Both he and my uncle both played in the front row, but I’ve stayed well away from that; I’m breaking the chain,” laughs Tom.
Tom played against Albion’s new Head Coach Ben Gulliver last time he was at Plymouth and he’s impressed with his approach to the game.
“He tells us not to worry about the rugby and just to put our heads down and work hard and the rugby will take care of itself. The main thing is that it’s enjoyable.
“There’s a real family environment here and we try to do something as a squad, involving the wives and girlfriends and the kids. I’ve never really had that at any club and it is really important. If everything’s alright at home we train better and you’re more excited to be playing rugby.
“That support helps everyone to do their best.”