Erhun Oztumer was released by the Addicks at a very young age, which made him doubt whether he would ever make it as a professional footballer. Oztumer spoke to the Saddler’s Express and Star about the situation.

The Walsall talisman spent nine years at the Charlton academy over a decade ago when they were competing in the Premier League. However, when he turned 16, the Addicks did not offer him a scholarship.

Speaking to the Saddler’s Express and Star, the midfielder said: “I was at Charlton for nine years and didn’t get offered a scholarship.

“It was a long time ago and it’s not personal. It was a big disappointment at the time because all I knew was Charlton.

“Back then they were a Premier League side. They had a great academy and I had a lot of fun there.

“When you get released at that age you think ‘is it over for me?’

“You wonder if you will make it as a professional and you start to drop levels. That is what I did, I went to non-league. But I worked my way up and now I couldn’t be happier.”

One of the Charlton Academy’s major concerns was Oztumer’s height.

“Every day I get told I am too small,” the 25-year-old joked.

“I still need to stretch really high in the supermarket to get stuff.

“But on the football pitch it is an advantage for me. I have learnt to what to do and what not to do.

“And I have felt this year I have progressed a lot – playing in a new role.

“The gaffer has helped me a lot with that. Now I want to keep scoring, keep doing well and keep winning games.”

About Author

Charlton Athletic fan who is still proud and loves the achievements under Jimmy Seed, Alan Curbishley and Chris Powell. I am still waiting for the day when we return to the top flight of English Football! I am staunchly against the Roland Duchatelet ownership and support CARD in his removal. I am also a qualified referee with the London FA. Twitter: @ValleyFloydFred