Rochdale forward Donal McDermott has revealed he "wasn't living right" before being granted a Football League lifeline by the League One club.
After coming through Manchester City's youth system, he dropped into non-league before joining Dale in May.
The 25-year-old scored a stunning goal in Tuesday's League Cup first-round win over Coventry.
"I was totally out of the game, I was just working, so when I got that [offer] I was buzzing," said McDermott.
|Did you know?|
|McDermott was in Manchester City's FA Youth Cup-winning team in 2008 - a side that also contained Daniel Sturridge, Kieran Trippier and Dedryck Boyata.|
He told BBC Radio Manchester: "It's my own fault, I wasn't living right - but since I've got this opportunity I've been trying to change the way I live and just enjoy football."
McDermott - who has played for Chesterfield, Huddersfield and Bournemouth - also revealed how a controversial tattoo keeps him from slipping back into past habits.
"It's a teddy bear that's cut its own head off with scissors in its hands," he added.
"People will say it's weird but I got it as a reminder to not do things that I was doing. When I look at that, I don't want to go back to before."