Leon Britton believes his decision to leave West Ham United for Swansea City in 2002 has been fully justified.
Britton quit the prospect of Premier League football to join the Third Division outfit in search of regular first-team football after failing to make the grade at Upton Park.
The 26-year-old began his football at Arsenal after joining The Gunners as a trainee in 1996, where he remained for two years before being taken to Upton Park by former Hammers manager Harry Redknapp for a then-record fee for a 16-year-old.
He was not able to break into the West Ham starting line-up though and joined Swansea in 2002 were his career has flourished.
The Swans narrowly missed out of the Championship play-offs this season after winning the League One title the season before and he would dearly love to help the Welsh outfit secure Premier League football.
"I dropped down to the old Third Division to play regular football after leaving West Ham. We avoided relegation and I felt happy here," he told
"Swansea wanted to keep me and I only had six months left on my contract at West Ham, and the club said that they wouldn't stand in my way if I wanted to leave.
"It was totally my decision and I wanted to play football; it's as simple as that. There is no point being in the game if you don't want to be ambitious. I was only playing reverse football in front of the proverbial 'one man and his dog'.
"It is hard for young players in a multi-million pound business. There are other examples of kids who have come back stronger after been told that they are not good enough at bigger clubs and I'm a firm advocate of learning the trade by playing in games that really matter.
"That's why to go through all of the divisions with Swansea, I would love to make it up to the Premier League with this club. It would be a great personal achievement."