NICKY Adams has no regrets passing up the chance to face Wanderers in the Championship next season by returning to Bury.
The Breightmet-born midfielder quit Rotherham United to sign a three-year deal with the resurgent Shakers yesterday and lead their fight for promotion from League Two next term.
Adams watched from the sidelines as Rotherham swept aside Kevin Davies’s Preston North End in the League One play-off semi-final on Thursday night to book a Wembley date with another of his former clubs, Leyton Orient.
But though he wishes Steve Evans the best next weekend – Adams insists the opportunity for a “homecoming” with Bury was one he couldn’t turn down.
“Me and the manager at Rotherham didn’t see eye-to-eye on a couple of things,” he told The Bolton News. “But that happens – I really hope they get promoted because there are some great people at the club.
“Sometimes people disagree in football but in this case it opened a door for me.
“I had one very good club in League One ask if I wanted to come, and a couple of others in the division.
“But once I spoke to Stewart Day (Bury’s chairman) and David Flitcroft (manager) I was blown away with their vision for the place.
“Bury are the club who gave me that big break when I was a kid and to go back there now just feels right for me.
“I want to help them get to where they want to be. And they are not messing around – they want promotion.”
Adams walked out on the Shakers six years ago to join Nigel Pearson’s Leicester City, helping the Foxes to promotion in his first season and then the Championship play-offs in the next year.
His golden touch has also worked at Rochdale, Brentford and Leyton Orient – who have all been upwardly mobile this season.
But the big draw for the dynamic 27-year-old was a reunion with Flitcroft, a coach who he admits has had a profound effect on his career.
“Everyone knows what a good relationship I have with him,” he said.
“He coached me when I was a kid, I’ve played alongside him and for him – but the important thing is he knows how to get the best out of me. I can’t say how important it is to feel that your manager knows your game and what you are best at.
“I can’t wait to get going now. The season can’t come around soon enough.”
To step down from the higher echelons of League One is a big leap of faith for the former Wales Under-21 international. But Adams is not looking to be a big fish as he steps into the JD Stadium.
“Over the last two years I think I have played the best football of my career,” he said.
“I have had options to go elsewhere but the changes at Bury this last six months have been unbelievable and who wouldn’t want to be a part of it?
“My dad (Terry) still watches all the Bury games and you can see they picked up when the manager came in.
“Coming back to the club where it started is a really exciting thing for me and I’m really glad to have got the opportunity.”