JUST four days into his time at Town, Neil Danns is already feeling at home.
The club’s latest signing, on loan from Championship rivals Leicester until the end of the season, is set for a debut at home to former club Birmingham this afternoon.
And the 30-year-old midfielder, eager to pull on the shirt of his ninth club, is certainly among friends.
Obviously there is striker Jermaine Beckford, also on loan from Leicester.
Before the Foxes, Danns played for Crystal Palace at the same time as Town trio Alan Lee, Sean Scannell and James Vaughan.
Going back further, he featured alongside Town manager Simon Grayson and Keith Southern during a loan spell at Blackpool from his first club Blackburn, where he was coached by Grayson’s right-hand man Ian Miller.
And the Liverpudlian attended the Football Association’s School of Excellence at Lilleshall, in Shropshire, alongside Town captain Peter Clarke before embarking on a career which has also taken in Hartlepool (loan), Colchester and Bristol City (loan), bringing 322 appearances and 62 goals.
“It shows what a small world football is,” smiled Danns, who is fresh from a nine-game and two-goal stint at divisional rivals Bristol City and says he’s “buzzing” at the prospect of playing for Town.
“It’s well known within football that Huddersfield are a really solid club with real ambition, and I’m here to help them get back up the table.
“I know there’s been a bit of a blip over the last few months, but there is quality within this squad.
“People have been talking about a possible relegation battle, but we’re just as close to the play-offs as we are to the bottom three, so why not look upwards?
“I’m a positive person, and I want to help Huddersfield push for promotion, not fight against the drop.”
Birmingham, where he spent two and half years after a £500,000 switch from Colchester in the summer of 2006, are first in his sights.
“I’m hoping to get the nod and get out there and show our fans what I’m all about,” said Danns, who helped Blues reach the Premier League before leaving St Andrews to join Palace for £600,000 in January 2008.
“I’m still match-fit after my time at Bristol and I’ve had a few training sessions here, so I’m all set to go.
“I’m thrilled to have the chance of playing Championship matches and I’ve got every incentive to do well here.”
Danns, who signed for then Leicester boss Sven Goran Eriksson on a three-year deal during the 2011 close-season, was a regular last time around, but like Beckford, has found himself out of favour this term.
“I really don’t know why that is,” said the man who played against Town for the Foxes’ development side at the stadium in October.
“People assume I’ve had a fall-out with the manager down there (Nigel Pearson), but that’s certainly not the case.
“I played regularly last season, and I kept my place when the manager rejoined Leicester (from Hull) in the November, and I was even captain before missing the last few games with a minor injury.
“I thought I’d be in his plans, but that didn’t turn out to be the case, so it’s been a case of getting on with things.
“I’ve been in football long enough to know that every manager has his own ideas, and there’s no point sulking about it, you just have to knuckle down, work hard, and see what comes.
“I’m at Huddersfield until the end of the season and I’m fully focused on this club and ready to give my all for the cause.”
Father of three Danns is also delighted to be geographically closer to his family, who are still in Liverpool.
“My partner, two sons and daughter stayed up there after I joined Leicester because we didn’t want to uproot them from school and nursery,” he explained.
“I’ve been going back as often as possible, but there’s a lot of travelling involved, and now I’ll be able to live at home, which is brilliant.
“If you’re settled in your domestic life, you can concentrate on your work, and that’s what I want to do.
“There are quite a number of Liverpool-based players, such at Peter Clarke, at Huddersfield, so I’ll have some company and a bit of banter in the car, which helps!”