Ex-Chelsea striker Demba Ba: I was Gillingham and Barnsley reject | OneFootball
Ex-Chelsea striker Demba Ba: I was Gillingham and Barnsley reject
Former Chelsea star Demba Ba has revealed he was turned down by the likes of Gillingham and Barnsley as a teenager.
Starting off in France, Ba earned himself a contract worth £900-a-month at fourth tier side Rouen - but recalls having to borrow money just to feed himself in the first month.
Speaking to The Athletic, Ba said: "My first contract at Rouen (in the French fourth division) had been for €1,063 net, per month, and I had to borrow €300 in the first month for food."
Ba had trials at the likes of Watford, Barnsley, Swansea and Gillingham as a teenager, but never ended up getting offered a deal.
The 36-year-old says the teams felt they already had players like him in the squad.
He continued: "Ninety per cent of the time, the feedback I got was, 'We have the same quality of player in the squad already.'
"They didn't realise that I was training twice a week with amateurs at the time, not six times a week with professionals.
"I was told, 'You're not good enough', but I didn't want to hear that that, to me it was, 'You're not good enough for me'.
"I just refused to give up. I remember writing letters to the top 40 clubs in France, by hand, asking for a trial.
"I never thought about rejection, only the next chance."