Ghanaian midfielder, Edmund Hottor, was living the dream when he was signed by AC Milan at the age of 17.
Training with the second team, the Ghanaian midfielder would often play practice games against the first team, sharing a pitch with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho and Andrea Pirlo.
Now aged 27, Hottor plays for Cambridgeshire part-timers St Ives Town, who start their FA Cup campaign in Suffolk against Brantham Athletic on Tuesday.
“It’s been quite a journey,” said Hottor, who spent six years on the books of AC Milan without making a senior appearance for the seven-time European champions.
“It was a fantastic experience for me. I had a chance to train with such big names and I was learning a lot growing up as a teenager at AC Milan.
“I don’t have any regrets even though I didn’t get to play in Serie A.”
Hottor was signed by AC Milan soon after playing in Serie B for Triestina. His CV also includes a short spell, in his early 20s, at Inter Milan where he left without making a senior appearance.
Having also played in Portugal and Malta, Hottor arrived in England in 2018 and turned out for Kettering Town and Banbury United before signing for St Ives, who play in the seventh-tier Southern League Premier Division Central, in December 2019.
“I came to England with no agent and I had to start from somewhere,” he added. “I’m enjoying playing again.”
Also at St Ives Town is 38-year-old Marc Richards, the former Port Vale, Northampton and Barnsley striker.