Former Aberdeen youngster Paul Coutts insists being rejected by hometown club Aberdeen as a 16-year-old didn't affect him - after admitting he didn't want to play for the Dons.
The Fleetwood Town midfielder, who was born in Aberdeen and entered the club's youth system as a young child, was let go after six years as the Pittodrie side deemed him too small to make the step up to the professional game.
Coutts joined Cove Rangers, then in the Highland League, before moving south of the Border to sign for Peterborough United.
But speaking to The Athletic, the former Scotland Under-21 star - who has also featured for Preston North End, Derby County and Sheffield United - said: "I don’t think what happened at Aberdeen changed me.
"I didn’t really want to play for them, if I'm honest. I was a bit sick of it - I’d been there since I was eight, training three nights a week up to 16 and playing on a Sunday. It takes over your whole life.
“Going to Cove was the best thing that could have happened. It was a totally different environment."
Coutts took up work as a subsea technician while turning out for Cove, and revealed: "Basically, I just mucked around. I would be told to sweep something up, so I did.
"I didn't really know what I was doing - boiler suit on every day, probably working about ten hours. But it was great."
The 31-year-old helped the Blades win promotion to the English Premier League before being released and joining Fleetwood Town in England's League One. He has played eight times for Joey Barton's Cod Army.