Coventry City defender Milan van Ewijk has detailed how leaving Feyenoord earlier in his career was a huge blow he initially struggled to get over.

The defender has been speaking to Voetbal International, relayed by FC Update, about the early days of his career and rejection by the Dutch side.

They 23-year-old started his career in their youth sector but was released on a free transfer by the club in 2016, forcing him to look elsewhere.

He joined Excelsior that year and worked his way up through the club over the next three years before eventually moving to ADO Den Haag on a free transfer.

Van Ewijk was unable to establish himself there and left in 2021 after a loan deal at SC Cambuur, eventually joining Heerenveen in a €650,000 deal.

His career eventually appeared to take off from there and he joined Coventry in a €4.3m deal in July 2023 and has been a regular this season, making 44 appearances in all competitions to date and enjoying life in the Championship.

He’s more than happy at Coventry and can now look back at his path to get there, admitting that early disappointment at Feyenoord was a blow.

“It was a huge low point for me. You move from Amsterdam, you play for six years in Feyenoord’s training and then you think you are going to break through, because it is getting closer,” he said.

“Even though you are sixteen, you have a certain idea that you want to make it to Feyenoord 1.

“When you hear that you have to leave, that you are not good enough, that does something to you, especially because the whole family had moved for you. Everyone has left everything behind.

“I fought my way back to professional football and that was an important thing for me. There I found the joy in football again and that period is now a strength for me. The fact that I had a setback so early means that I now know how to deal with it.”