Home is where the heart is for Walsall's Danny Guthrie
Danny Guthrie says finding the right school for his children was one of the big reasons he opted to return to England and join Walsall.
The former Newcastle and Bolton midfielder, who has made more than 100 appearances in the Premier League, was snapped up by the Saddlers last month.
Prior to his return to the West Midlands, Shrewsbury-born Guthrie enjoyed a year playing for Indonesian side Mitra Kukar. And the 32-year-old revealed he opted to take his family abroad because he and his wife always wanted to travel. “Playing in Indonesia was a great experience,” Guthrie said.
“I always had ambitions to go play abroad and challenge myself.
“I’d just left Blackburn and I had options to stay in England.
“But my kids were young enough at the time and my wife wanted to travel so it was a case of do it now or I might not get the opportunity so we jumped right in.
“My family lived in Bali which was great for them. I was playing and really enjoyed it, I picked up bits of the language and everything else was great – the food and the weather. I’d encourage anyone to do it at the right time. I had offers to stay out there but I had my kids’ schooling to think of.
“We made a decision in the January that it was best for them if we came home, so we did.”
Guthrie believes more players should test themselves overseas. And he admits he was surprised by what he found when he first arrived in Southeast Asia.
“It was a real eye-opener for me,” he continued.
“Some stadiums have 50,000 fans in hours before the game. You had three foreign players who usually quite good and the local players aren’t great but they love their football.
“I think everyone can benefit from playing abroad in some way, especially from a life experience point of you, testing yourself and taking yourself out of your comfort zone.”