Tyrone Mears has revealed he could have easily been playing professional rugby league had he not opted to take up football at the age of 14.
The Burnley defender signed a nine-year contract with Warrington Wolves when he was just 12 but was swayed by the lure of Manchester City to switch his full attention to football two years later.
The 26-year-old has impressed this term since signing for £500,000 from Derby in the summer proving that he made the right decision.
Mears made just one substitute appearance for City back in 2002 but has since gone on to play for the likes of Preston and West Ham while the full-back saw his stock rise considerably last year after spending the season on loan at Marseille.
"I signed a contract with Warrington Wolves running from when I was 12 until I was 21," he told the club's official website.
"That was where I thought my career was going but I ended up starting to play football at around 13 or 14.
"Manchester City picked me up. They wanted to sign me and ended getting me out of the contract.
"It was a really tough decision. You see how many young lads want to become footballers and have not really done it.
"To go to Manchester City was going to be difficult but I'm glad I made that change.
"My career is starting to go the way I want it to. You always aim to play for the best teams and play in the best league.
"I am getting a chance now with Burnley to show what I can do."