Former Birmingham City and Watford full-back Mat Sadler had no hesitation about joining League One side Walsall.
The 26-year-old was released by the Hornets at the end of last season, after a year's loan at Shrewsbury.
"I've said before my ambition is to be back in the Championship and above," Sadler told BBC WM.
"As soon as I met the manager (Dean Smith) it was a no-brainer really, his enthusiasm and ambition for the club, it kind of rubs off on you."
Sadler began his professional career at Birmingham before moving to Watford for £750,000 in 2008.
His three seasons at Vicarage Road never saw him seal a regular first-team place, leading to a successful loan at Shrewsbury last season.
The former England under-19 international says he kept a keen eye on the Saddlers' dramatic escape from relegation under Smith last May.
"I remember looking at the league table and you saw them nine points adrift and in a no-hope position," he noted.
"So the manager's influence on everyone, just giving them an extra step, was evident from the last three or four months of the season, pulling off the great escape.
"That sort of momentum is what carries teams on and pushes them on the following season, and that's what we're hoping to do."