STEPHEN Dobbie says he turned down Blackpool to “experience new things”.
The striker returns to Bloomfield Road tomorrow with new side Brighton after rejecting the chance to join Pool for a third time in August.
He reached two play-off finals with the Seasiders and remains hugely popular on the Fylde coast.
But although Pool had a bid accepted for the 29-year-old, he chose to join Gus Poyet’s men.
Dobbie said: “I knew Swansea and Blackpool agreed a fee and we spoke about a contract, but me and my wife felt it was time to try something else. It’s a short career, so I wanted to experience new things.
“I talked to a few people about the lifestyle in Brighton, the place, the people and stadium and the manager, so it was never in doubt when that came about. I just decided to take a new direction.”
Dobbie famously played a huge part in Pool’s play-off semi-final success2010, and returned on loan again last year to score five in five starts.
And he speaks in glowing terms about the club and, in particular, Ian Holloway.
“My experience there was amazing, especially the first play-off final,” said Dobbie.
“They play for the manager – it is all about the manager. That is why they do so well every year.
“The players respect him and he seems to get that extra edge out of each player on the pitch.
“You only have to look at the video clips of Ian Holloway to see what he is all about.
“He gets that little extra out of each player which maybe most managers can’t.
“The two managers (Holloway and Poyet) are not miles apart.
“Obviously they have got their different twists but since I’ve been here the manager has been great.
“The manager gets the extra edge out of players, especially the forwards.
“He lets them play and do their thing.
“I think that is why Tom Ince is doing so well.
“He just lets players express themselves.”
Dobbie remains friends with a number of the Pool squad, and hopes to meet up with some familiar faces.
He said: “I will probably meet up on Friday night in the hotel with Stephen Crainey and Barry Ferguson, the Scottish boys, and maybe Ian Evatt.
“They will always be close to me because of what we achieved as a team.”