Former Watford player Marvin Sordell has revealed that he was almost released before the end of his scholarship with the club.

In a column published in Four Four Two magazine, Sordell spoke about his first two years with the Hornets and about how he progressed through the ranks as a youth to eventually making his debut for the senior team.

"It took me about a year to properly get used to being a scholar," he said.

"The transition from training three evenings a week as a schoolboy to being in a professional environment every day took some getting used to.

"So much, in fact, that it nearly led me to being released early, I later found out.

"Thankfully my second year was hugely successful in comparison. This time it really was sink or swim, and I knew it.

"I went from regularly being on the bench for the youth team, and often left out of the matchday squad for reserve games, to then being the talisman for both sides. Added to that, Aidy Boothroyd included me in two first-team squads. I didn’t make the bench for either game, against West Ham in the Carling Cup or Preston in the league, but the experience was incredible.

"In the final months of that season, and at the end of Brendan Rodgers’ short tenure as Watford manager, he offered me my first pro contract. I was the last of my age group to receive one, but determined as ever to make the breakthrough."

Sordell signed for Watford after participating in exit trials, a shop-window style football match where released players get to play in front of scouts, often as a final chance to get noticed.

This last opportunity came to the forward after years of trying to balance his adolescent years preparing for both a life in football and for the worst case scenario of not being picked up by a club.

"Trying to find the right balance between dedicating time to GCSE schoolwork and earning a scholarship is a difficult task.

"Do you spend most of your time after school doing extra work to ensure you get good marks on your exams? Or do you spend it working on your game? Fitness, strength or technique?

"In the end, I didn’t get offered a scholarship from Fulham, and nor did I get the GCSE results I was aiming for.

"The despair of having your dream within touching distance, but seeing it start to slip away had me questioning my future. I was in the last chance saloon – literally. After being released, I headed for the Football League exit trials.

"My dreams hung in the balance, and I had less than 60 minutes of football, playing with 10 complete strangers, to impress watching scouts. It was pretty much sink or swim.

"Fortunately, my performance was enough to get some serious interest from several clubs; the most from Celtic, Port Vale and Watford, where I eventually ended up signing."

Sordell went on to play for Watford a total of 83 times, scoring 27 goals in that time.

He now plays as a striker for League Two side Northampton Town, on loan from League One side Burton Albion, but has represented his country at both youth and Olympic level.

While some may see his career as having a downward trajectory, the player insists he would not have it any other way.

"Sometimes we lose perspective, however, and look only at the current destination of a journey, rather than where it began. A lot of fans might look at my career and say that I’ve regressed over the years. That may be the case.

"I’m proud to sit here having played more than 300 club games, with 18 international appearances to complement them.

"Through sheer persistence, some luck and a sprinkling of talent, I went from a kid who played in Wembley parks to playing at Wembley Stadium. What more could anyone want?"