Jamie Yates is delighted to be back with Gainsborough Trinity, and fully prepared to win over any supporters with doubts over his return.
The winger left the Blues in 2013, after two successful seasons, to join Conference North rivals North Ferriby United.
His opportunities were limited with the Villagers this season, and his departure was agreed, before he signed with Steve Housham at the Martin and Co Arena once more.
Although the 26-year-old’s return has been welcomed by many supporters on social media, Yates admits he may need to convince others.
“I think I will have to win a few of the fans over,” he said.
“There’s always going to be the minority that I will have to win over, that would be the same anywhere.”
“When I left all I was doing was accepting a new challenge, but I’m delighted to be back and I’m positive about (winning over any doubters).”
Yates, who featured for Northern Premier League side Matlock Town on loan this season, insists his fitness levels are good and he’s raring to go ahead of Trinity’s trip to Chorley on Saturday.
“The fitness is good.”
“I had a little niggle at Gainsborough on Boxing Day, my hamstring, but I’ve made a full recovery since then and I’ll be back involved.”
Although he came to Trinity to try and get regular football again, Yates fully accepts he might face stiff competition for a place from players already established in Housham’s squad.
“It wouldn’t surprise me,” he said.
“I’ve played with Dan Clayton this season at Ferriby, I know he can play on the left side of midfield like me, and Liam Davis is a wide player.”
“But when I’ve played for Steve before I played all over, and he’ll use me where he sees fit – that’s fine with me.”
Life at the Martin and Co Arena may be very different from the one Yates remembers from his time playing in the Peter Swann era, when it was widely known that the Blues were a wealthy outfit.
He’s obviously not put off however, and the presence of so many familiar faces is a comfort.
“From what I’ve heard it’s a lot different from when Peter Swann was here, but the new chairman seems to have the club at heart.”
“Football wise I know Steve and the way he likes to play and I’m expecting a positive welcome at training.”
“Don Roma has been there quite a while now, he was there when I played, Simon Russell, Jan Budtz, Darryn Stamp, I won’t be short of people I know.”
“This is a fresh start, it’s a good challenge for me and a contract that I think both parties are happy with.”