A determination to repay the faith of manager Grant McCann was a major driving force behind Ian Lawlor’s return to Rovers.
The goalkeeper has signed a two-year contract at the Eco-Power Stadium to become McCann’s first signing since his own return to the club.
Injury limited Lawlor’s gametime during McCann’s previous season at the club, but he was still rewarded with a new deal during that time.
“I did my shoulder and I was out for quite a while but Grant was really good with me,” the 28-year-old said. “I was coming to the end of my contract and he rewarded me with a new deal.
“I said it at the time that I was really thankful for and I’ve never forgot that.
“He showed a lot of faith in me and when the phonecall came from him about coming back, it was the same kind of conversation and it was a no-brainer for me.
“I felt like I had unfinished business with him. I wanted to pay him back more again and coming back to work with him again was a no-brainer.”
The Irish goalkeeper initially joined Rovers from Manchester City in January 2017 and played a major role in securing promotion from Sky Bet League Two that season.
And the prospect of repeating the feat following his return has been a major draw.
He said: “We had a good promotion that season and when I spoke to the manager, that is our main aim for this season. We want to get out of this league and it’s something I really want to be a part of it.
I had a taste of it before and that’s what we want to do again.”
Lawlor feels he is returning to the club a more rounded keeper than the one that left in the summer of 2021, with his experience in Scotland with Dundee helping his improvement.
He said: “I developed in the time that I was up there.
“I feel like I’ve improved a lot. I’ve worked with different coaches and I feel like I’ve learned a lot. I feel like a more mature goalkeeper, a calmer goalkeeper. I believe in myself.
“And every time I put on the jersey I’ll give 100 per cent for the fans.”