Date: 29th June 2007 at 6:08pm
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Rory Delap is hoping that he is back on the road to full fitness after breaking his leg during his home debut last season.

Delap had the worst of starts whilst on loan for the Potters, coincidentally whilst playing against his former club Sunderland at the Britannia. Stoke had already agreed in principle that his loan period would result in a permanent signing for the 30 year old who has also played for Derby and Southampton during his career. The Potters decided to honour the gentlemen’s agreement between the clubs and Delap signed a full contract for the Potters during the January transfer window.

Understandably the midfielder is now eager to start the new season and is looking forward to the start of pre-season training next week. He told the Sentinel: ‘I will only find out how I react to full contact in the pre-season games. If I can get through them, then I will hopefully be ready for that first game’.

Liam Lawrence was another player who subsequently joined the Potters on loan from the Black Cats and also signed a permanent deal. He was reported to have been impressed by the way that Stoke looked after Delap and it was enough to convince him that we were a club worth joining.