As a very young grassroots player with Wokingham Town, I had trials at various football clubs including Portsmouth FC and Aston Villa FC but was unsuccessful.
At 14 years of age, I was scouted by Southampton FC but was released at 16 then went onto Tottenham FC but again, I was not offered a contract. Having experienced the disappointment on more than one occasion I never gave up. The rejection drove me on to work harder and improve to become successful.
Mentored by my father, I spent hours upon hours working on various aspects of my game and whilst playing for the first team at Wokingham Town FC, the hard work and determination paid off when Chelsea FC who had been scouting me for some time, offered me a professional contract at 18.