Ten years after leaving the club for Nottingham Forest, Grant Holt admits that it’s good to be back.
Holt spent two years at Spotland between 2004 and 2006, scoring 42 goals in 83 outings for Dale.
The 34-year-old, who left Wigan Athletic last month, penned a deal until the end of the season on Thursday. He says there are plenty of old faces still around at the club.
“It’s not changed really – same old faces, same people,” laughed Holt.
“I had a chat with Keith last week and then we had a chat this week. He told me what he wanted and I thought it fitted with what I wanted to do.
“I wanted to make the right decision this time with where I went. There were offers around and places to go but I felt it was right for me to come back.
“I spoke to Keith and anyone who knows Keith will know what he sells you.”
He continued: “I need to play. I had been out with an injury for nearly 11 months but I came back strong and fit. I went on loan to Wolves and got a bit of game time but nothing much.
“I just want to play now, I want to get out and play football and enjoy it. I’ve been waiting to do that for nearly two years now.
“It’s good to be back and I’m glad that everyone seems to be pleased that I’m back. Now I’ve just got to go out and make them pleased and do what I did. They’ll see a different Grant Holt to 10 years ago. I’m a more intelligent player than I was but I could probably run a bit more back then,” laughed Holt.
And the 34-year-old says he’s still got plenty left in the legs and is raring to go.
“The good thing with me was that I was never going to get any slower and I was never going to get quicker so I’ve always been that pace anyway, so that’s alright for me.
“But intelligence wise I’m a lot better. The last 10 years has taught me quite a lot and I’m hoping I can use that to help everyone here.
“I’ve been training [since leaving Wigan] and I’ve been doing my own bits. I was ready to play three weeks ago but unfortunately it wasn’t happening.
“I’ve never been any different, I’ve never changed. I’ve done my work, and I know some people always find it hard to believe that I work quite hard, so I think they’ll see that it won’t take as long to get up to speed.”
Reflecting on his previous spell at Rochdale, he commented: “It was really, really good. We had a good bunch of players and good bunch of people here. I got a few phone calls last night off a few of the lads.
“It was fantastic, we had a great time here. We knew what was expected of us. We had some good footballers, pretty similar to what we’ve got now - a lot of young lads who are keen to kick on and make a career for themselves. A lot of them from that team have done that.
“It’s different this time round – I’m coming back as the old head and I was the young, sprightly, chirpy lad who used to hammer the older lads and now it’s the other way around.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.