As kids, most of us start to realise pretty soon whether or not we're destined for a life in professional football. You could be a late bloomer of course, realising your potential in your mid-teens and possibly even later - queue some sort of pun referencing Jamie Vardy and his rise to international stardom through non-league football. The vast majority who are good enough though waste little time waiting to be scouted by professional clubs.
The very best youngsters get snapped up by academies, where their skills are carefully nurtured and by 16, they're ready for their first pro contract and life all goes accordingly. For many however, professional deals do not come and because education has taken a back seat due to the assumption that a life in football will do just fine, thousands of kids are left with limited options should they get released from their respective clubs at a young age.
Dominic Dwyer, the Sussex-born striker who spent six years in Norwich City's youth system between 2000-2006, experienced rejection when he was released by the Canaries 13 years ago, and dropped into England's non-league pyramid with Staines Town. The forward, then aged just 16, lasted just one season at the Surrey outfit, before moving to King's Lynn - the club he had begun his footballing career before joining Norwich eight years earlier.
Drafted in because the Norfolk side were a striker short for their game against Grantham FC, Dwyer lead the line and scored four goals on his debut. The rest was history for Dwyer at King's Lynn; he went on to establish himself in the first team, becoming a pivotal figure for the club as they looked to climb up England's non-league ladder. A trial to earn a scholarship at the Tyler Junior College in Texas in 2009 was to completely change Dwyer's life for the better, however.
The young forward was accepted onto the scholarship scheme, and made his way across the Pond for a fresh challenge in America. Dwyer won two national championships and earned the coveted National Junior College Player of the Year Award having scored 37 goals for his new side as a sophomore. After two years playing for Tyler College, where Dwyer left having netted 52 goals in 42 appearances, the now 28-year-old moved to the University of South Florida, where he spent a season playing for the South Florida Bulls in 2011.