Ben Whiteman believes that being released from boyhood club Manchester United was the best thing that ever happened to him, despite finding it extremely difficult at the time.
Whiteman spoke to D3D4 podcast about being released from the team he’d always supported after nearly a decade in their Academy.
“I joined Manchester United at the age of seven and that was an unbelieve experience because I’m a United fan. I went right through to the U16s and then I got released.
“That was difficult to take and I think it took me a while to get over that.
“I think you’ve got to deal with setbacks like that in your own way, because I think being let go then was the best thing that ever happened to me. It made me deal with situations that – if I’d stayed on – I would never have dealt with.”
Whiteman also had some advice for young footballers who face being let go from Academies at the end of the schoolboy age groups.
“The advice I’d probably give is it’s not the end of the world,” he added.
“I know that sounds stupid because players will be hearing that a lot at that time, but it really isn’t. I went to Sheffield United and I probably enjoyed it more there than I did at Man United.
“It’s the kind of setback that you learn from. You almost need these kind of things to happen in your life to learn how to deal with them.”