He admits he owes them one - but Glenn Poole insists there'll be no love lost when Brentford host his former club Rochdale today.
The 27-year-old former Spurs trainee spent six weeks at Spotland on loan from Grays two seasons ago and was offered a permanent deal by the League Two club.
But Poole opted to join Terry Butcher's Bees last summer instead, and insists playing against his old employers is an added incentive.
He said: "I thought it was going to be my only chance to play league football, so I thought I'd go up there.
"It wouldn't have been my ideal choice of destination, but I went there and really enjoyed it.
"They offered me a deal, but I made my mind up to come here. I'm a Brentford player now, and you always want to do well against your former club. I'm really looking forward to it."
Poole made just one start and five substitute appearances during his time at the Dale.
But the ex-Yeovil and Thurrock winger will always be thankful to them for giving him his first taste of league football.
"I'll always be grateful to them for giving me my break, because I honestly didn't think I would get my chance," he said.
"Luckily for me, the move paved the way for me to come here. The gaffer had seen I'd signed on loan and thought I could do a job.
"It put me in the shop window. There was obviously a question over whether I was good enough for this standard - and I think it confirmed I am.
"I'm not going to lie, I didn't set the world alight, but it made
me get more noticed."
Poole starred as Brentford drew 1-1 with Shrewsbury on Saturday, with the lead Charlie MacDonald gave them on 73 minutes from Marvin Williams' cross wiped out just seven minutes later by Shrews sub Chris Humphries.
Meanwhile, Poole has revealed he has passed on the penalty-taking mantle to striker MacDonald following his miss against Morecambe last week.
He added: "We agreed at the start of the season that if I miss one he could take them.
"He's a goalscorer and is paid to score goals. But if he misses one then I will take them again.
"I don't care who takes them as long as the team wins."
BEES (V SHREWSBURY): Hamer, Newton, Woods, Wilson, Bennett, Bean, Halls, Poole (Dickson, 90 mins), Elder, MacDonald, Williams. Subs not used: Seb Brown, O'Connor, Phillips, Ademola ATTENDANCE: 5,362