It was a case of rolling back the years in more ways than one when Dean Keates stepped out for his Rushall Olympic debut at Dales Lane last week.
The experienced midfield terrier put in a trademark display in the engine room of the side to help The Pics chalk up a 3-1 victory over Grantham Town in what was his first outing at Dales Lane since his teenage years.
“I think I was 15 the last time I played on the Rushall pitch,” said the former Walsall man who joined the club in the summer from Welsh Premier League outfit, Rhyl.
“It was nice to be back and get a game having been forced to sit out the first few matches of the season whilst we were waiting for International Clearance to come through.
“It was a good team performance on the night and we could have easily won by a bigger margin in the end, but it was just nice to get our first home win under our belts.
“Playing in this League is a new experience for me, but I’m sure it won’t take long for me to get into the swing of things.
“Fitness-wise I feel okay and my match sharpness will come with the more games I play.
“I’ve been impressed by the group of players we have here. They’re an honest, hard-working group who like to get stuck in but also have a bit of quality about them.
“Their willingness and commitment will give us a good foundation.
I suppose we’re not one of the fancied teams in this League, but it reminds me of that promotion season we had at Walsall under Ray Graydon in 1998/99 when everyone was pulling in the same direction and we had a close-knit group of players and staff.
“There’s a good nucleus here and I’m happy to be part of it.”
Source and Image: Rushall Olympic