Ten years after leaving the club for pastures new, David Perkins is delighted to be returning to Rochdale for a second time.
The midfielder penned a two-year deal at Dale on Thursday, moving from Wigan Athletic to the Crown Oil Arena.
Perkins enjoyed much success with the Latics during his time at the DW Stadium, twice winning promotion, and was a popular character with players and staff there, as well as a fans' favourite.
He admits that he had a thoroughly enjoyable time during his three-year stay there, but believes now was the right time to move on.
“I’ve had a good three years at Wigan. We got promoted during my first year, relegated during my second and then promoted this season. I’ve had some great times there and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The fans have been unbelievable with me, all the staff and the Chairman, so I can’t thank them enough.
“I didn’t play too much last year and I need to play football – I love football and I love playing football, so I need to get back to doing my job. I’ve got plenty of years left in me, and I wouldn’t be coming here if didn’t think that. There’s plenty of life left in me and I’ll be expected to be one of the fittest out there and making an impact at the club.”
His move to Rochdale will see Perkins work under the management of Keith Hill for a third time, something the midfielder is looking forward to.
“I’m very pleased to be back. The 10 years since I was last here has flown by, to be honest. It only seems like yesterday since I was here, so I’m very pleased to be back and I’m looking forward to the season ahead.
“Keith Hill has been top-drawer with me over the years. I played with him at Morecambe and came to work under him at Rochdale from there, and I also worked with him at Barnsley, so I know what he’s like and I’m looking forward to working with him again.”
With almost 600 career appearances under his belt, Perkins brings a wealth of experience to midfield, and he hopes he can pass that onto the younger players in the squad.
“I’ve changed as a player over the last 10 years, and I think I’m a better player than when I left. I’m definitely more experienced, because that comes with games, and although I’m a big kid at heart, I’d like to think that I can help the young lads improve on and off the pitch.
“I’ve been to watch Rochdale quite a few times this season. I’ve got a few friends here including Jimmy McNulty and Doney, so it was the first result I looked out for and I was absolutely made up when Dale stayed up.
“Having watched games, the side maybe did need a little bit of experience in the midfield, so hopefully I can help those young lads and see their careers progress.”