Jay Rodriguez admits it will be a special moment when he becomes a Premier League player for Burnley for the first time.
But the returning striker will not let emotion cloud his big day as he looks to help the Clarets make a flying start to the new season.
Local lad Rodriguez was making his way at Turf Moor when Burnley had their first taste of the Premier League in 2009/10 – only for injury to deprive the burgeoning frontman of a first taste of top-flight football.
Goals galore following relegation to the Championship then earned Rodriguez a move to Southampton in 2012 and his Premier League break-through.
And after returning to Burnley this summer – via a two-year stay at West Bromwich Albion – the England international will finally get the chance to experience playing at the top level for his hometown club.
“It will be massive. I didn’t manage to get that last time. For me, it will be a really proud moment,” said Rodriguez, who could make a second ‘debut’ against the Saints at Turf Moor on Saturday.
“This club has totally changed in the right direction and it’s something I feel really happy and lucky to be a part of and I’m just really excited to get going with it.
“To come back here is a real buzz for me and my family. It’s going to be a special moment and it’s something to be proud of.
“But the main thing is the business and what I can do to help the team.
“You put your professional head on and it’s business and doing whatever you can to affect the game and help the team is the main focus.
“The initial buzz will be there for any player, but obviously it will be better if we get what we want out of the game.”
The Clarets go into their fourth successive Premier League campaign on the back of an impressive pre-season campaign which has gathered momentum since the players returned for duty at the start of July.
Back-to-back home wins over Nice and Parma appear to have got Sean Dyche’s men peaking at the right time.
And Rodriguez – one of three new outfield summer signings – is excited about the Clarets’ prospects as he prepares to face former club Southampton in the curtain-raiser.
“I have some great memories from there, but the business head comes on. We’ve worked all pre-season for this game and you want to come out with three points,” added the 30-year-old, who warmed up with both goals in the 2-0 win over Parma.
“I’ve been really impressed with how we’ve prepared, the shape we’re in and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I think there’s no limit for the team. I think we have great quality and the togetherness here is really strong and it’s something really good to be part of.
“What I’ve seen, and been a part of this pre-season, is the quality and hard work the lads put in. Everything is set up perfectly and I think there’s no limit to what we can do.
“I think the games we’ve played we’ve done really well in, and hopefully we can show that.”