Joe Rothwell reflects that playing regular football at old club Oxford United was the catalyst for his move to Rovers.
Joe became the first summer signing for Tony Mowbray, putting pen-to-paper on an initial three-year deal at Ewood Park just prior to Rovers' return to pre-season training.
And the 23-year-old credits the U's for turning him from a boy to a man during his two-year stint down south.
“I had a magnificent time at Oxford. It was a good time to leave my boyhood club in Manchester United and move to Oxford when I look back," the box-to-box midfielder reflected to iFollow Rovers.
"They turned me into a man to be honest and allowed me to play every week. People’s livelihoods are at stake in the lower leagues and that gives you even more incentive to give everything you’ve got every single week.
“I was at United for 16 years, grew up there and it was everything I ever knew really. It took me a couple of months to get used to living on my own for the first time. Once I got used to it I settled in and hit the ground running. I definitely became a better player at Oxford.
Rothwell has already admitted that the lure of Championship football was a factor in moving to Rovers, but he confesses that location also aided his decision, with just a 25 mile drive in from his hometown.
“Another thing that persuaded me to join was being able to get back up to living in Manchester," he added. "I’m already settled there so I’m just focussed on cracking on and doing well here."