Yeovil Town goalkeeper Chris Weale spoke to BBC Somerset reporter Ed Hadwin on Thursday 3rd July 2014, after he returned to the club he started his professional career at, signing a two year contract.
CW: It felt strange driving down, to be honest. Driving around the ground and seeing the ground, I feel young again! That's quite nice. But maybe I've got a wiser head on, I'd say, as I've experienced different things in football. I'm just really pleased to be back and playing for a club that I'm passionate about. It is great to be back.
EH: Was this something that you ever expected to happen?
CW: Not really, to be honest. But when I got the phone call from Gary, I was very interested. Yeovil had a very very good season last season, irrespective of where they finished. For a club the size of Yeovil and the budget that Yeovil have got, to do that well and compete in the Championship was fantastic. So when I spoke to Gary, he wants to get into the Championship as soon as he can. That's obviously where everyone wants to play and that's where I want to play, and one step higher. I've still got ambitions to play as high as I can, and I felt that it was a great opportunity to do that here, with Gary.
EH: And did that call come completely out of the blue?
CW: Yes, I guess in a way. I had a few other clubs that I was interested in and was thinking about. But to be honest when I met Gary, and heard his passion for the game - sometimes you go to a club and the management and the staff and players don't have as much passion as he's got. That's why he's so successful. The group that he's got around him, with the management staff around him are so passionate about doing well and being successful. Being successful with a club like Yeovil, I couldn't turn down the opportunity.
EH: I suppose you two know pretty much all there is to know about each other already, don't you?
CW: Yes, I really like the way he works. When you go away from him and you go to other clubs and other managers, you understand why he is successful and why he gets the best out of players. That can only help myself and help Yeovil as well, so it's great that Yeovil have got such good management staff here.
EH: You look around, it's nice and sunny, the pitch is in pretty good condition, the goals are not quite in yet, but do you remember some of the times past, and the highlights from a few years ago?
CW: Yes, I loved playing here, and hopefully I can continue to really enjoy my football here. Having been up here as a boy, and being passionate about the club, I think that when you move to other clubs it just becomes a job, whereas here it doesn't feel like a job - it feels like you're just doing something that you've loved doing since you were a little boy. It becomes easier to play, maybe because of that.
EH: And you've got all of the family around as well, and I guess that brings its own distractions, but it must be nice to be back close to your parents and your brother and that kind of thing?
CW: Yes, we've got a little boy and one more on the way, so it will probably help with that!
EH: Babysitting will be easier!
CW: Yes, but we weren't too concerned with where we went really, but as soon as I met Gary it was just his passion for the club, and his desire to get back up into the Championship, and working in an environment where every day you'd like to be at the best that you possibly can be. It's just a great place to play and train.
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