Norwich City old boy Grant Holt goes home after sealing a Rochdale return
14:05 19 February 2016
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Norwich City cult hero Grant Holt admits a return to Rochdale feels right after signing a short term deal until the end of the season with the League One club.
Holt could make his debut second time around at Bradford on Saturday after returning to Dale where he scored 34 league goals in 75 appearances during a two-year stint at Spotland between 2004 and 2006.
The 34-year-old, who led the Canaries to a double promotion and Premier League safety, was a free agent after cutting his ties at Wigan.
“It’s not really changed in the last 10 years, the same old faces,” Holt told Rochdale’s official site. “It is good. I had a chat with Keith (Hill) last week and then this week. He told me what he wanted and it kind of fitted with what I needed to do. I just want to get back in, play and make the right decision this time around. There were other offers around but I felt this was the right one. I need to play.
“I was out with an injury for 11 months or so and I came back fit and strong and was involved. Went on loan to Wolves and got a bit of game-time, but not much, so I just want to play now and enjoy it. I have been waiting to do that for nearly two years. Everyone seems to be pleased here and now I have to go out and do it. They will see a different Grant Holt to maybe 10 years ago, I am lot cleverer as a player but maybe I ran about more back then.”
Holt’s return to the north-west has created a stir.
“I didn’t think it was feasible,” said Rochdale boss Hill. “We played Wigan in a pre-season friendly two seasons ago and I asked Uwe Rosler if we could take him and he said with a wry smile, ‘how much?’ but when I told him how much we could offer it wasn’t going to get done. Things came to a conclusion at Wigan in terms of his contract and I wanted to make contact with him but I just had to see how the land lied. He wanted to come back and start enjoying his football and I think it is a good signing for the football club and that it has made a lot of Dale fans happy.
“We have a 16-game season, it is really important we retain our League One status. If it just came down to finances it is very difficult for us but we, the board and the chairman, have agreed with me and I am pleased to get the deal done. He wants to play football and that is brilliant. He is a good player, a massive player for Rochdale and looking forward to working with him and I am sure the players will get a stimulus from it.”