Scott Harrison has revealed the reality check of seeing life outside football has made him determined to succeed at Hartlepool United.
Last summer the former Sunderland trainee was facing up to a career away from the game, having seen his contract at Pools run out.
And he knows now for sure, it’s not something he wants to return to.
With Harrison staring down the barrel and out of work, Craig Hignett offered the powerful centre-back a new deal at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium, albeit on reduced terms.
And it is fair to say Harrison, one of Pools stand out performers of the last month, has barely looked back.
The defender, who was Pools’ goalscoring hero at Accrington on Monday afternoon, netting a late leveller to secure a point on the road, is keen to grasp his second chance with both hands.
Because, by his own admission, football is all he has ever known. He wouldn’t know what to do with himself, should he ever be forced to turn away from the professional game.
“I don’t have anything I can take with me and use in any other working environment,” he said.
“I haven’t really got any skills outside of football so I had to knuckle down.
“I had to grow up, because football is all I know.”
Harrison broke on the scene at Pools with a bang, receiving praise for his no nonsense defensive performances at the heart of the backline.
But last season turned into a disaster.
Hignett revealed last week that it was the way Harrison lived away from the park that let him down.
And when asked, Harrison was in no mood to deny it.
“Well, last season you think you’ve made it and reality hits you,” he said.
“When I have come back I am trying to work as hard as I can to keep my place in the team. I think I have done that.
“It has been a good few weeks. I’m just happy to be back in the team.
“I have just tried to keep my head down and work hard.
“Last season I had a bad year. I am the first to admit that.
“It feels good to be in good form - the challenge is staying in form.”
Grimsby are the visitors to the Vic in two days time and Harrison believes the players can take confidence from the performance down at Blundell Park last year, where Pools dismantled the high-flying Mariners 3-0.
“Grimsby is a big game,” he said.
“We beat them 3-0 at their place but they are not a bad team.
“They have big strong players and are doing well so we know it will be tough.
“Hopefully we can go one better than Accrington and get the win.”