Bristol City new boy Kane Wilson has hailed his love for the West Country as a reason for moving to the club this summer.
Wilson has spent the last few years in the South West of England, playing two years at Forest Green and before that two seasons with Exeter sandwiched in between moves at Tranmere Rovers and Walsall.
The 22-year-old for the next three years at least will ply his trade in the heart of the West Country in what will be the best
Explaining his decision why he joined, he said: “It was just the way how Bristol City were so forward and so welcome. The gaffer when I came and looked around seemed like a really great guy. The West Country has been by home-from-home, it’s something I wanted to do.
“The people down are lovely, it’s a really friendly environment. I fell in love with it really. My home is still Birmingham, it’s where all my family are but I’d call it home.
“I fit in with the people, I know they love their cider and there are little things that I have bought into their culture.
“As a kid, you used to find me in Paignton and places like that, we used to go around in the caravan. My favourite holidays growing up were caravan holidays to Paignton with the characters and stuff. Maybe it’s why I like it so much.”
City open the campaign away on Humberside against Hull City which will act as the first competitive game of the season.
For a majority of the squad, they’ve gotten to grips with playing in the second tier but should Wilson get the nod, it would be the first taste of football at this level.
He had been part of travelling squads with West Bromwich Albion in both the Premier League and Championship but was never able to taste any minutes at that action.
A start or at least a substitute appearance should he be fit in four weeks time would see him play at his highest level if he features against the Tigers.
He said: “I’ve been on benches and in around the Championship and Premier League match days but I’ve never stepped onto the pitch. From what I can gather it is going to be a step up in tempo, my final ball may have to be on point and mistakes might be punished more.
“It’s all things that the gaffer and the lads are going to help me with. I’m a massive learner and I want to learn, I know I’m going to make mistakes that won’t be the end of me. I look forward to them because I know I can learn from them. It’s gonna be an experience that I hope everyone can bear with me, I can get up to speed and show people what I can do.”
In what was his first full week as a City player, Wilson was given a warm welcome with a sliding tackle from Joe Williams.
Williams, a midfield enforcer hoping to have a more prominent role and avoid injuries this season, was on the opposite side to Wilson in an 11 versus 11.
As a getting to know your teammates, seeing the key aspects of their game will make for a good understanding before the season opener against Hull.
A moment like that on the training ground could be a sign of things to come for the upcoming season and despite being on the opposite team on the training ground, the former Wigan Athletic midfielder is one player he’s looking forward to sharing a pitch with.
Wilson said: “I think it’s a little welcome present, I can tell Joe is a fiery character and I love that. I need those kinds of players on my team and I want them on my team because they are the ones that are going to win us games.
“I’ll take it all day and next time I’ll meg him, I promise you that. Joe is a class player and I’ve seen already what he can do. I’m happy he’s on my team and not the opposition.”
Two games that will be in the personal diary of Wilson are the matches against Cardiff City and Watford.
Against Cardiff in August and in March, he could come up against his former teammate Ebou Adams, who was named in a few Team of the Seasons alongside him.
As well as on the pitch, he’ll also be looking over to the opposition dugout as he’ll come up against Rob Edwards, who was his manager last season. Edwards has taken charge of the Hornets in what is just his second job in senior management.
He said: “Ebou has kicked on and he was a great player and the gaffer he has kicked on to Watford. I wish them all both well. It was a team that was always going to do well and did what we did.
"Ebou and I were really close, we got on really well, whilst Rob wished me well when I joined here. He took the assistant manager Richie Kyle who I got on with.
“It’s four games I can catch up with friends and I look forward to it.”
Out of all the players that have joined so far, Wilson is the only one that comes having experienced the winning feeling last year.
Sykes’ Oxford missed out on the play-offs whilst Naismith suffered play-off heartache with Luton.
Albeit at a lower level, the third addition of the summer is bringing a winning mentality to Ashton Gate, having departed the New Lawn with a league winners medal.
He said: “I spoke to Kal (Kal Naismith) who was massive on it and the lads who have been there and done it. It’s a different level but you can’t explain the euphoria you get from winning the competition and thinking you’ve done something.
“If we can replicate that over the next three years in my Bristol City career then I’ll be buzzing. It will mean that everyone is a winner.”