West Ham's Aaron Cresswell: Liverpool academy rejection was devastating

West Ham United defender Aaron Cresswell has said he was "devastated" to be released by Liverpool's academy as a youngster.

Cresswell was let go by his boyhood club as a 15-year-old but has since worked his way up through the football pyramid.

He returned to football by playing for a local Sunday league side before being spotted by a scout from Tranmere Rovers.

He played for Rovers until 2011 before moving to Ipswich Town and then joining the Hammers.

He has now been called up to the England squad for the first time ahead of the forthcoming fixtures against Scotland and Spain.

"My dad told me [about his release by Liverpool]," he told the Daily Telegraph. "I couldn't get my head around it at first.

"They pull the parents to one side and tell them: 'It's not to be, but it's not the end.' I was devastated. As a kid, you are in a bubble of playing for Liverpool.

"It was all I had done for two years and I had enjoyed it so much. It was about playing for the club I supported.

"My dad said: 'It is not the end of the world. Go back with your mates. Just play with a smile on your face and enjoy it.' That's what I did. I went back with the lads."

The 26-year-old says he is hoping to make the most of his first opportunity on the international stage.

Gareth Southgate's side take on Scotland at Wembley in a World Cup qualifier on Friday before hosting Spain in a friendly on Nov. 15.

"I hope I can achieve my dream of pulling on an England shirt, which is what I've wanted to do ever since I started playing football as a little kid in Liverpool," Cresswell said.