Frank Ross admitted he feared his career was over at the age of 22 after a nightmare spell at Aberdeen.
The midfielder made the adventurous move to the Netherlands to join Eerste Divisie side Go Ahead Eagles this summer following an injury-riddled spell at Pittodrie.
Ross had been at the Dons since the age of eight, but was unfortunately given the heart-breaking news at the end of last season that he wasn’t going to have his contract renewed at the club.
A move to Holland was the last thing the playmaker expected, but he is looking forward to a fresh challenge on foreign soil after a torrid time on the injury front in recent years.
Ross revealed he considered hanging up his boots, but vows those “dark” days on the treatment table will not define his future as he looks to revive his career with the Dutch side.
“There have been times when I’ve thought my career was over, 100%. It all started a couple of years ago when I just got back from my loan spell with Morton and I was feeling amazing and was absolutely flying that pre-season. I played a couple of games and felt the best I ever had on the pitch and after being called up to the Scotland U21’s squad I hurt my back.
“At the time I thought I’d only be out for a couple of weeks, but it just wouldn’t go away and the rest of that year was so, so hard. There were dark times where I considered packing the game in and thought about working with my dad but fortunately for me, I kept on going and have got myself a fantastic move over to Holland.
“It’s fair to say I’ve not had the best of luck and I hope this year treats me better.”
Ross, who had spells on loan with Morton and Ayr in recent years, has targeted the number 10 role at Go Ahead Eagles and thinks playing in a well-known technical and attacking league can only be a good thing as he looks to get his career back on track.
“I’d never have thought that I would be playing in the Netherlands this time last year. Once the Coronavirus struck there weren’t a lot of offers in the top-flight offers or high-end Championship, I did have a few though.
“I wanted to look for something different so I phoned one of my old coaches and luckily enough he was friends with the manager here at Go Ahead Eagles and they managed to arrange a two-week trial period for me and I did well enough to earn myself a deal.
“From what I’ve seen so far, the tactical stuff Is much more in-depth than Scotland. If you look at Chelsea for example, they send a lot of their youngsters over to Holland to learn their trade and it seems to work well for them. I think any young player could come over here and learn a lot.
“The league is well known for goals and that can only be a positive thing for a player like me as I’m always wanting to attack, be direct and get some goals. We are defensively solid so that gives me so much more freedom to go forward.
“In the Netherlands, the centre-backs are urged to play out from the back all the time, but in Scotland if you did that and got caught on the ball you’d be screamed at. It feels like they realise that everyone makes mistakes here, it’s just a different culture and they see football in a much different way.”
Ross doesn’t want to put any pressure on himself this season after a lengthy spell on the sidelines and has vowed to get back to enjoying football once again.
“I’m not going to make any goals for myself this year because if I pick up an injury this year it just makes the injury feel ten times worse as I’ll be looking at my goals thinking I should be somewhere else. I’m just going to live in the moment for the coming season and enjoy every moment.”