Simon Cox is set for an emotional return to Swindon Town on Tuesday night (July 28) just a few weeks after making the switch from the County Ground to The Hawthorns.
The 22-year-old striker admits that his £1.5 million transfer from the Robins went through with such speed he never got a chance to say goodbye to his team-mates or club staff.
However, Cox, who scored 32 times for Swindon last season, is hoping to correct that tonight when Roberto Di Matteo’s side continue their pre-season preparations.
“I think I will get a nice reception and I left on good terms, but it was one of those situations where they have always been a selling club,” he said of his transfer.
“They have the new consortium there who have set the standards of keeping players but when I had the season I had last year it was always going to be difficult for them.
“I will enjoy going back there because I never really got to say goodbye to anyone. I went back for the first week of pre-season and still didn’t know whether I was staying or going, but I was happy there.
“When I came up here on the Monday for the medical and it got done on the Tuesday, I never really got to go back and say goodbye. I have spoken to a few of the boys, the chairman and the chief executive there but it will be nice to do it in person.
“I have a lot to thank the club for. When I spoke to the chairman about coming here he was happy for me and said I was welcome back at any time. Things like that make you feel you have done well for the club and that you made an impact on them as well as a person, which was nice.
“I do feel Albion is a friendly club in a similar fashion, and I will feel it more as time goes on. I was there for 18 months so I built it up there.
“The players here are happy players and a lot of them want to be here, so it is nice to have that camaraderie on the training ground and around the place. We are all a collective group.”
Although he started his career at his home-town club Reading, it was after he joined Swindon in January 2008 that his career really took off and Cox is grateful for the opportunity he was given in Wiltshire.
“It was nice to go there and play week in and week out,” said Cox, who has just recovered from a minor ankle injury.
“I don’t think many people realise that last year was my first full season as a professional, playing week in and week out. The year before that it was all about loans and learning the game, getting experience under my belt.
“Last year it helped me playing every week and being around the same people every day, and knowing that was where I was going to be for at least two seasons. I felt really at home.
“The club is such a friendly, family club. You don’t mind going into work when people are smiling every day.
“The guys there were a nice crowd and I would say to any of the young lads here who are looking to go out on loan, if Swindon were ever in the market for it, it is a good club to go to.”