Bristol Rovers defender Tom Parkes honoured to wear the armband
Bristol Rovers defender Tom Parkes says that being handed the captaincy was one of the highlights of his short career to date.
Parkes, 20, was chosen by manager John Ward to lead the side in the absence of regular captain Garry Kenneth for Tuesday's 2-1 victory over Plymouth Argyle.
"It meant everything to me," the defender said.
"It's the first time I've done it at first-team level and it is something I've always wanted to do. It was a big moment in my career and winning the game made it all the more sweet.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"I was told on the day before the game and I took it on board. I felt a bit of pressure on my shoulders because I'm still a young lad, but I thought I dealt with it well. When you are the captain you are expected to carry the team and drive them on, but I enjoyed that responsibility."
Kenneth is expected to regain the captaincy for the clash with Gillingham at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday after completing a one-match ban, but Ward said: "The armband simply distinguishes who is the captain on the day, but you need more than one leader on the pitch and Tom is certainly one of them.
"He is still a young player, but he has that leadership quality within him. He doesn't have to have the armband to be a leader."
Rovers, meanwhile, go into the game against Martin Allen's league leaders buoyed by their first win in almost two months following Tuesday's success.
"There is a buzz around the training ground, everybody has a smile on their face," said Parkes. "It was a good performance on Tuesday and the most important thing is we got three points out of it.
"Gillingham will be a tough game, but we're not fazed by it. We're just looking to go out there, build on the positives from the win over Plymouth, and try to get another three points."
Parkes, meanwhile, expects to retain his place in the back four following a short spell in midfield. He has also showcased his versatility by playing at left-back and on the left-hand side of midfield so far this season – although he hopes that his days of moving around the team are behind him for the time being.
"I enjoyed playing in midfield, but I'm still a centre-back," Parkes said. "I don't even want to go there by talking about the time I played on the left of midfield. I'm not the quickest, so I wouldn't mind if I never played there again!
He added: "It felt weird to be back in defence on Tuesday. In midfield there is that bit of freedom to bomb forward, but at the back, my main priority is to be strong and defend and I like that challenge."
Parkes says he takes little interest in the hyperbole surrounding the January transfer window – even though Rovers look set to be one of the busier clubs in League Two as Ward attempts to bolster a threadbare squad in an effort to extinguish the threat of relegation.
Ward yesterday had a bid turned down to sign Leicester defender Cian Bolger on a permanent deal and Parkes said: "It's the same every January.
"New players come and old players go, but I'm not worried about that. I'd love to see Cian back here, though. He has been fantastic in the few games he has played for us.
"I've played with him at Leicester for four or five years and I'd like to resume my partnership with him here if that is at all possible."