Former Bristol Rovers midfielder Josh Barrett almost quit after release from Gas

The 23-year-old almost walked away from football after it didn’t work out at the Memorial Stadium

<p>Former Bristol Rovers midfielder Josh Barrett is finding his feet again. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)</p>

Former Bristol Rovers midfielder Josh Barrett is finding his feet again. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Joshua Barrett has admitted that he considered packing in a career in football after his release from Bristol Rovers.

The 23-year-old was released by the Gas in September as he wouldn’t be considered as  first-team figure.

Barrett had joined in 2019 from Reading for an undisclosed fee and made 19 appearances in total over the course of two seasons.

As Joey Barton stamped his authority on the squad though, he was not considered part of his plans and was allowed to leave.

Despite a fall out of professional football, the midfielder was able to find a new club in King’s Lynn and was twice on target in their first home win of the season, a 2-1 victory over fellow strugglers Dover Athletic.

"I was 95 per cent certain that I’d never play football ever again when I left Bristol Rovers if I’m honest," said Barrett to Lynn News.

"I kind of fell out of love with the game but days like today bring it back and I’m absolutely buzzing."

"Those bits of quality are key and that’s why I’m here.

"I’m gradually getting fitter every game. I’ve been frustrated that I haven’t done enough going forward and that’s a big part of my game."

Tommy Widdrington was caretaker manager of Bristol Rovers in February. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The Republic of Ireland international was signed at a time when Ben Garner was manager but was openly criticised by him for his fitness levels, so an improvement is a welcome one.

Barrett though is now in good company as the man who brought him to both Coventry City and the Memorial Stadium is in the hot seat.

Tommy Widdrington was appointed as manager of King’s Lynn on Friday, just a week after leaving the Bristol Rovers board.

Widdrington was both a director of football and caretaker manager during his time with Rovers and took him to the two clubs he worked at.

“The guy is a talent, I have been connected with Josh indirectly for five or six years,” the 50-year-old said.

"I preached as a recruiter and a director of football to the development managers that this kid is a proper talent. But, and there is a but, he is not so good at certain things.

“If you give him the licence and a bit of freedom, you have also got to demand things that he is not comfortable with.

“It’s like anything, he has to be comfortable at being uncomfortable with the things he doesn’t like doing.

“It will take a while – everyone will look at him and see he is overweight, he’s this, that and the other... he is a talented kid.”