Popular defender looking forward to facing his former club...
DEAN Holden can't wait for Sunday's televised clash at Shrewsbury Town to come around.
The summer signing spent a year and-a-half with The Shrews having joined the club during the summer of 2009.
"I'm really buzzing for the game," he said. "I believe that we've sold our full allocation of tickets, so a good atmosphere is guaranteed from our fans.
"Results have not been great in the last few games, but our performances have been decent, so it's not a case of having to pick ourselves up off the floor.
"With the game being shown live on television we want to show people what we are capable of and what we have done up to now.
"As long as we put the performances in, the results will follow. Everyone works hard for each other and wants to do well."
Having arrived from Rochdale during the summer, the 33 year-old has slotted well into the back-line and is a popular figure both on and off-the-field.
"Coming here has been like a breath of fresh air for me," he added. "It was just what I needed. The players and staff are full of energy and it has really revitalised me.
"We work hard on our preparation but everything is enjoyable and the atmosphere around the place is fantastic."
Holden made 52 appearances for Shrewsbury and is looking forward to renewing acquaintances as The Saddlers make our first appearance at the Greenhous Meadow.
"It's going to be tight for the opening 10 or 15 minutes," he went on. "The tackles will be flying in early on, which is my sort of game. Things will settle down after that and hopefully we will get our passing game together."
Having sat out Tuesday's game against port Vale, Holden will be hoping to return to the heart of defence alongside skipper, Andy Butler. "It's great playing alongside Butts," he added without hesitation. "He's a good talker and we've worked well together so far.
"We've both got a bit of experience and are able to use it to communicate and organise those players around us."
There will be a touching moment prior to the game when Shrewsbury Town present Holden with a cheque for his chosen charities in memory of the daughter that he and his wife tragically lost to meningitis earlier this year.
The money was raised at their recent home game against Swindon Town and proves that despite all of the rivalries, there is a real bond that exists within the football family. "I am totally overwhelmed by the support," he said. "It's really special and I would like to thank everyone at Shrewsbury Town and indeed Swindon for their generosity.
"All of the messages we have received have given me so much comfort and I would like to thank everyone most sincerely."
Everyone here at Walsall FC would like to echo Dean's sentiments and thank our hosts on Sunday for their gesture.
Please note that Sunday's game is an all-ticket affair for Walsall supporters and our full allocation has now been sold. There will be no tickets available on the day, so please do not travel without a ticket.
Saddlers Player will be broadcasting live, full match commentary of the game. Plus subscribers can check out the interview with Dean Holden in full...