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Everton defender Godfrey: I trialled with Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds

Everton defender Ben Godfrey has recalled being rejected by a raft of clubs during his teenage career.

Godfrey says he was turned down by Middlesbrough, Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley before making a top flight breakthrough. He was shown the door by Boro before unsuccessful trials with Leeds, Wednesday and Barnsley. And it was the Elland Road rejection which spurred him on to prove the doubters wrong.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Godfrey said: “It felt a little bit like the dream was over [after his Middlesbrough release]. After that, there were trials with Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United. None led to a contract. For them to say no was a massive confidence-breaker, really. It looked like the end of the journey.

"The moment that stands out massively is after that Leeds United trial. The coach told me they were not going to offer me anything but to go and prove him wrong. That stuck with me. I was desperate then. I could not wait to go and prove them wrong."

After dropping down the pyramid to join his hometown club York City, Godfrey made his debut at the tender age of 17. An impressive loan spell with Shrewsbury Town prompted Norwich City to take a chance on him.

"It is a strange old journey," admitted the 24-year-old. "I looked up to those lads in academies at big clubs when doing my scholarship at York but in the long run is that beneficial for them? I am not so sure. I have friends who were at so-called bigger clubs than me at a younger age and we just passed each other.

"But every path is different, there is not just one route to success, you have to try to consider the best options presented to you in line with your goals."

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