FORMER removal van man Max Watters is hoping to help Barnsley with their relocation from League One to the Championship.
The 23-year-old striker joined the Reds on loan for the rest of the season from Championship club Cardiff City last week.
The Londoner has had an unusual route to professional football as, rather than being in an academy, he worked for his father from the age of 16 while playing for non-league clubs such as Thurrock and Ashford United.
Watters told the Chronicle: “My dad chucked me in the deep end and made me get up at six in the morning and earn some money. He owns a removal business so we were moving people to and from houses in and around London.
“It gave me a taste of the real world.
“I appreciate what I have got now more.
“Being a non-league player, I have been at some bad clubs in bad changing rooms and it gives me the motivation to never go back to that.”
Watters moved into professional football with Doncaster Rovers in 2018 but never started a league game in a two-year spell with Barnsley’s near neighbours.
He said: “It was my first professional club. I was perceived as more of a young lad but I should have worked on that and become more experienced. But that comes with games. It gave me massive experience to go onto Crawley.”
After leaving Donny, he scored 16 in 19 for League Two Crawley Town which earned a move to Cardiff for a reported £1million.
He has netted just once in 22 Championship games for the Welsh club, including 11 this season with eight starts, but scored seven in 14 for League One MK Dons last season on loan.
What does he think he will bring to Barnsley’s attack?
“Finishing, running in behind and linking up with midfield.
“I think I can add pace to the team.
“We haven’t got much pace so hopefully I can bring that.”
Watters was not involved in the FA Cup at Derby with head coach Michael Duff saying he is not yet fully match-fit after a hamstring injury and illness kept him out since early November.
He said: “I just need to get more robust and get as many minutes as I can on the pitch and do as much as I can in and out of training.
“Hopefully I will get some minutes on Saturday.”
What made him want to join the Reds?
“Mainly the gaffer. I know quite a lot about him. I like the way his teams play.
“I wasn’t getting much gametime at Cardiff so obviously I wanted to go out on loan. I looked at the options and, soon as I saw Barnsley, I wanted to come here.
“Being in the top half of the table, especially the play-offs, is important. It’s good to come to team with loads of ambition.”