Gold Coast United defender John Curtis believes his experience at Manchester United early in his career has held him in good stead. The 31-year old Nuneaton native joined the A-League club during the pre-season after a career based solely in the UK and says the time he spent at Old Trafford as a teenager really helped him develop as a player.
"Football's been good to me," Curtis told Australian Football Weekly.
"It's given me the opportunity to meet a lot of people and see a lot of things.
"I was lucky enough to be involved with the United team when they won the treble, which was a fantastic experience - I was only a fringe player. As a young lad, 19 or whatever I was at the time, to be working with those guys really stood me in good stead for my future career."
Curtis' future career has included stints at clubs such as Barnsley, Sheffield United, Leicester City, Portsmouth, Preston North End, QPR and most recently Northampton Town but it was his time at Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest that he remembers most fondly.
" I really enjoyed my football at Blackburn and at Forest," he added.
"Those were the two clubs that, in terms of a playing career, I enjoyed the most. Winning the League Cup (2001/02) with Blackburn and playing in Europe was great. And Forest is a massive club with a massive history and to play for a club with such tradition was really good as well."
Curtis made his Gold Coast debut in the 1-0 loss to Melbourne Victory on Sunday after returning from a leg injury and says he is absolutely loving his time at the club.
"The lads have been absolutely fantastic - everyone at the club has been, from Clive Palmer right through," he added further.
"Miron's (Bleiberg) definitely a character, too, and he's been great for me through my injury.
"How can you not be happy in a place like this?"