It may only have been two years since he first arrived at Rovers on trial but Owen Bailey insists he is a much different player as he makes his return on a permanent basis.
The midfielder has signed a two-year contract at the Eco-Power Stadium after spending the last two seasons with Gateshead in his native north east.
Bailey spent a fortnight on trial with Rovers in the summer of 2021, having just left boyhood club Newcastle United.
Having played more than 70 games at senior level for Gateshead, he believes his experience has primed up for the step up to EFL football for the first time.
“I’ve developed a lot,” he said. “When I came here before, that was my first introduction to senior football. Then I went to Gateshead and had a great two years there.
“We had a decent season last season and I ended up playing at Wembley [in the FA Trophy final]. Being there was amazing and I got to meet some amazing people.
“Being here two years ago, I knew it was something I was striving for, somewhere that I really wanted to be so I think I had my heart set on the club.
“I feel that I’ve done the hard work and proved myself at senior level so now it’s just about kicking on and showing what I can do.
“I can’t wait. Obviously I’ve played in the EFL Trophy and against teams, at some of the stadiums. It’s massive and it’s where I want to be.
“I’m looking forward to my first EFL game and I’m really excited for it.”
Bailey says he is looking to add physicality to the Rovers midfield.
“I’m hard-working, good in the air and a bit of a battling midfielder,” he said. “I’m someone who really likes to get the ball and play but also someone who likes doing all the hard stuff, tackling, getting stuck in and being a real physical presence.
“That’s something I definitely think I can add to the team.”