FROM training on a park pitch with Plymouth to being nutmegged by Angel Di Maria, Andy Kellett’s footballing career has had some strange twists and turns since he first broke through at Wanderers.

On April 22, 2014, Kellett became the first Boltonian to make his debut for the club in six years – the previous example being goalkeeper-cum-striker Sam Ashton, who was memorably thrown on as a substitute by Sam Allardyce in an FA Cup game against Watford.

He played just a handful of games for his hometown club, making a solitary start against Rotherham, and had a successful spell on loan at Plymouth. But he is perhaps best known for his surprise move to Manchester United – a deal completed on winter deadline day 2015 – which raised eyebrows around the football fraternity.

Now 26, Kellett’s career has seen him play for Wigan Athletic, Chesterfield, Notts County, Fylde and since the start of this month, Alfreton Town.

Speaking to, the left-back discussed his move to Old Trafford and whether his path would have run differently had he remained in the lower leagues.

“At the time it was an unbelievable feeling for me, but then people would say, off the cuff sort of, ‘how’ve you nicked that move?’ and stuff like that, and that makes you feel worse about the situation than it was,” he explained.

“When they asked me to go there, I couldn’t really believe it at the time, but I’d had history with Warren Joyce and he’d always liked me as a player. So when they came forward and it was Warren who was pushing that, I kind of understood it a lot more.

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“It was a complete transformation, because the six months before that, I was on loan at Plymouth and we were training on a park, you would have to take your own breakfast/dinner in. That might seem like nothing, but when you go to Man United a couple of months after, and you get literally everything for you, you’re working normal nine to five hours because it’s so professional in terms of training, gym, food, video analysis, stuff like that.

“It’s like a full-time job. It was very good, and it’s something that I’ll probably always look back on.

“Whether that’s hindered my career or not, because at the time we were pushing for play-offs with Plymouth. Maybe if I’d have stayed in that, my career might have gone a different way, but obviously signing for United, I couldn’t imagine that bringing anything negative to my career.”

The United team that won the league championship that season included the likes of Adnan Januzaj, Andreas Pereira and Ashley Fletcher.

And Kellett recalls the step up in class in training, with sessions often including first team players on their way back from injury.

“In my first training session, I got megged by (Ángel) Di María, and everyone was just running around screaming,” he said. “As embarrassing as that was for me, it made me feel less anxious about the situation.”

Kellett has moved from Notts County to Fylde already this season - but after the departure of manager Dave Challinor forced him to seek pastures new once again, he has now settled on Alfreton.

"It probably has been my most testing season," he said. "I’ve not been involved really at all this season, and it’s my first real time out of football, in terms of not being with a club.

"I’ve found it hard, because I am outgoing, but it’s quite awkward messaging managers, ringing managers, asking if they can give me a chance.

"To be fair, I feel like it’s given me more contacts, and from what I’ve experienced, I prefer to speak to the managers myself, just for the fact that I can get everything from them instead of going through my agent."

Kellett is determined to get his career back on track after a difficult 12 months but said he has not considered leaving football.

"I’ve had times where I’ve been rejected, I’ve been told that I’ll be offered a contract and they’ve kind of just blanked me," he said. "I’ve messaged managers and they’ve blanked me. It felt like a kick in the teeth, and I felt like ‘bloody hell, if I can’t get somewhere at this level, it’s only gonna get harder and harder,’ but for me, it was just to get back in somewhere where I could enjoy playing.

"The last couple of years haven’t been great for me; I’ve not really wanted to be a professional footballer, just for the fact of injuries and stuff that’s gone on behind the scenes, and it made me fall out of love with it really.

"That was hard for me, because I really wanted to enjoy my football, but I wasn’t getting it, so I felt like I wasn’t 100 percent in it.

"When I look back, for all the teams I’ve been at, I’ve been at some really good clubs, and at the time, I probably did take them for granted, because I’d always been given contracts and been given the opportunities.

"For me to not have opportunities, if anything, it’s made me just wanna get my career back on track even more."