New Exeter City signing Luke O'Brien says his move to St James Park was necessary in order to save his career.
The 23-year-old left-back signed until the end of the season from Bradford City after being told he was no longer in manager Phil Parkinson's plans.
"I could have stayed at Bradford and it could have ended my career," he told BBC Radio Devon.
"I could have been out of contract in the summer and no-one would have known about me."
He added: "I might have gone and played non-league football which obviously no player wants to do."
O'Brien came through the youth system at Bradford after first being spotted by the Valley Parade side as an eight-year-old.
He played almost 150 games for the club before moving to City, and has not played a full 90 minutes since November.
"It has been hard but I'm just glad to be at a new club and a fresh start - it's going to be the best thing for my career," he said.
And O'Brien is hopeful that he can force his way in to the City line-up and persuade manager Paul Tisdale to give him a longer deal at St James Park.
"I think there's about 20 games left so obviously I would like to play and then maybe in the summer I might sit down with Paul and he might offer me a longer contract," he said.