'I've always tried hard to prove people wrong' - Nsiala ready for Championship challenge
PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:12 10 August 2018
Toto Nsiala has a debt to pay, and a lesson to learn about self-belief, after signing for Ipswich Town.
The 26-year-old centre-back joined the Blues along with midfielder Jon Nolan in a £2m double deal from Shrewsbury Town
Both were let go by Everton as youngsters and had to rebuild their careers in non-league, the pair crediting manager Paul Hurst for igniting a fire in them at Grimbsy Town before taking their games to the next level at League One club Shrewsbury.
With Hurst having now given them a Championship opportunity at Town, Nsiala – who had a spell playing in Vietnam during his lowest ebb – said: “There was a time when I didn’t really fancy playing anymore, but joining Grimsby made me want to carry on. He (Hurst) always said he believes in me more than I believe in myself. He thinks I can push on and do well at this level.
“I had a few bets with Grimsby fans that I got close to. I said if I got close to the Champo or in the Champ then I’d have to take them out for a meal. I’ve had a few messages from them already saying ‘what about that meal then?!’
“I guess it shows that you never know what can happen in football if you get your head down and work hard.
“Things happen for a reason. Going to the Conference made me so much stronger and better. It just mans you up. At that age I don’t think I had that in me and it was a wake-up call. I think that was probably the best thing that happened to me.
“When you take so many knocks you’ve got to be really strong to get back on your feet and go again. If I didn’t have the people around me that I did, I wouldn’t have been able to do that.
“My family, the gaffer, Doigy (assistant Chris Doig), a few friends I’ve met along the way and my girlfriend – I owe them all a massive thank you.”
Nsiala added: “I don’t know if you’ve gone through my social media, but I always have a lot of doubters. I’ve always tried hard to prove people wrong every time I’ve had the chance to step up.
“I’m nothing special. I’m not a John Stones! I’m just a hard worker, I get paid to defend and that’s what I’m about.
“Strikers celebrate scoring goals, but I get that buzz from keeping them out.”