Former West Ham prospect Nathan Mavila has opened up on the period following his release from the club in 2016, explaining how the blow almost caused him to quit the sport altogether.
Mavila, who never made a first team appearance for the Irons, now plies his trade for Hampton and Richmond in the National League, having been let go following a whirlwind period in which he was named in the Hammers squad for a Europa League tie at Astra Giurgiu.
And the defender, who will line up for Hampton and Richmond against Oldham in the FA Cup, has publicly opened up for the first time since his release, telling ITV news:
"When I was struggling to find a club when I left West Ham, I was quite depressed and alone.
"As much as people say they know what I was going through, I didn’t think anyone did and the only ones who I did allow my mind to accept their advice was ex-pros or professionals.
"There was a time I wanted to pack it in and my agent really helped me carry on."
Since leaving West Ham and swapping the Premier League for the Conference, he has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons, having been sentenced to 40 hours community service for insurance fraud charges, which he says stunted his chances of landing a contract elsewhere.
“I was going through tough times financially, I wasn’t in full-time employment, I was on part-time money. I had a car that I was paying for and I needed insurance and it was hard.
"My premium had run out, the new premium was higher and I was shocked as I had not had an accident or anything. I tweaked a few things on my insurance, I got stopped and what happened happened.It was a mistake, I regret it.
"Certain clubs might look at it and think whatnot but it was out of character and it was just a mistake."