JAMAL LOWE has revealed how being humiliated by Edgar Davids helped drive him from non-league to the brink of the Premier League.
Le Bornemouth winger was an 18-year-old rookie at Barnet when Dutch legend Davids, who was player-manager, ordered him off the training pitch for making a mistake.
But a decade later he has a chance of going into the top-flight with Bournemouth, having gone close with Swansea last season.
Lowe told SunSport: “Davids sent me in from training after I’d done a bad pass.
“I was trying to set him to feet and the ball bobbled up and bounced to his chest. He wasn’t happy with that – and told me, ‘If you’re going to train like that, go home.’
“He told me. ‘Get off the pitch and get changed.’”
“It was harsh because you must bear in mind I was only 18. I was devastated and didn’t know how to react.
“I thought, ‘Should I stay out and fight it’ but what else do you do when you’re a kid and a manager who was a legendary international footballer has told you to leave the session?
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“That was pretty much the end of my chances of playing for him again.”
Lowe was frozen out and loaned to a series of non-league clubs before he left the Bees in 2015.
He had to do the hard yards at St Albans, Hemel Hempstead and Hampton & Richmond before his career started to take off when Kenny Jackett signed him for Portsmouth.
Lowe said: “What happened that day at Barnet motivated me. I wanted to prove Davids wrong – although sadly I wasn’t able to at Barnet.
“It’s at that point my career spiralled into non-league but importantly I got lots of game time.
“The one thing I wanted to do was stand out – so I made sure I was fitter than everyone else. I wanted to remain a professional athlete even if I was going to be playing in the semi-pro game.
“And I tried to stand out by scoring goals.
“Managers and scouts don’t always watch the games and just look at the goals you’ve scored and sometimes that’s enough!
“In a funny way, I can thank Edgar now because what he did that day put me into a zone where it showed how easy everything can be taken away from you.
“I’ve had to take the long way round – but got there in the end.”
Lowe ended up moving to Wigan and was part of Paul Cook’s team that were cruelly relegated to League One after the EFL docked them 12 points for going into administration.
But Swansea snapped him up and he had a fantastic season in South Wales, notation 14 buts en 45 Championship games, as they reached the play-off final before losing to Brentford at Wembley.
HIGHS AND LOWES
Jamal Lowe’s clubs
Hayes and Yeading (2012-13, prêt)
Boreham Wood (2013, prêt)
Hitchin (2013, prêt)
St Albans City (2013-14, prêt)
Farnborough (2014, prêt)
Hemel Hempstead (2014, prêt)
St Albans City (2015)
Hemel Hempstead (2015)
Hampton & Richmond (2015-17)
Il a dit: “I loved my time at Swansea and had to learn to play in a completely new position as a striker.
“But I’ve never felt lower on a football pitch than losing the play-off final. It’s the worse way to miss out on promotion – you’re better off not making the play-offs than going through all that devastation.
“You get all the build-up and have been working hard all that season to just reach the play-offs, then you work hard to get to the final and to then fall at the last hurdle is terrible.
“But you have to learn from it and use that experience the next time you get there.”
I’ve never felt lower on a football pitch than losing the play-off final at Swansea. It’s the worse way to miss out on promotion.”
Boss Steve Cooper’s departure from the Liberty Stadium made his mind up to leave.
Il a dit: “I started a few games this season with Swansea but with the manager change it seemed like the club was going in a different direction and that maybe I wasn’t going to be needed anymore.
“Bournemouth are a massive club with big aspirations and their ambitions match mine so when they wanted me I went for it. And it has turned out to be a great move.”
The Cherries travel to Luton on Saturday where a win will keep them top of the Championship.
And Lowe has had to adapt to being used mostly as a substitute this season but is loving his time in Dorset.
Il a dit: “It’s all been about making sure week in, week out, you’re as fit as the players who are playing 90 minutes.
“It’s about coming on and making a positive impact. Most of the time I’ve come on, we’ve been winning so it’s been a case of seeing the games out.”
Lowe has loved playing for Scott Parker – and believes his style of play is the best in the Championship.
Il a dit: “Scott was a top player and demanded high standards of himself in terms of work rate and attention to detail – and he is exactly the same now.
“Scott is in the same bracket as Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, who have had good careers and pride themselves on that they always set their standards sky high.
“They’re all 100 per centers and that is how they manage. You can’t drop below 100.”
Speaking of high standards, one player who has been superb this season is 36-year-old former Chelsea and England defender Gary Cahill.
And Lowe admitted: “He is quite literally a wall, nothing is getting past him.”