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Why getting released was the best thing that ever happened to me…

I was released by Burnley at 18 and I was devastated!! I am a Burnley supporter and always dreamed of playing for my boyhood team. However, I look back and it was the best thing that could have happened to me, I don’t think I would have had the career I did if not.

I am aware that we’re at that point in the season where many players will unfortunately be getting let go by clubs so wanted to share my experience… Getting released hurts, it’s happened to me more than once, and at the time it is gutting. However I can say from experience that if you stay positive, focused and put in the work, it can work in your favour in the long run.

Getting released taught me many valuable lessons about how to react when things didn’t go my way. It taught me to dust myself down, refocus and keep going. This has helped me in not only my career but also in my life.

Football, and life, is full of highs and lows, setbacks and disappointments. There is a famous quote by Epictetus “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters” and I couldn’t agree more.

If I hadn’t been released by Burnley, I would have probably stayed in the reserve team for another couple of years, got 2 years older and have no real playing experience. After I was released I went to play over 40 games for Bury in league two, and tested myself playing alongside men in a competitive league. I got kicked, I lost, I was exposed to passionate fans opinions on my performances, I played in all weather conditions and the experience I gained that season set me up for the career I eventually went on to have. It was playing for Bury that I really developed my grit as a player.

I was released again 2 years later by Shrewsbury town. It still hurt, it was still a massive disappointment, however it was a turning point in my career. I suddenly had a new fire in my belly. I had a now or never mentality and I wanted to prove everyone wrong who didn’t believe I was good enough. If I hadn’t of been released, I wouldn’t have signed for Hereford, and if that hadn’t of happened then I wouldn’t have scored 3 goals against Bournemouth, and the rest is history…

Keep your head up, keep believing 🙏🏼

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