AT 19 years of age, you have just been released by the club that finished rock bottom of the Championship.

Your CV consists of loan spells at Welling United and Staines Town and your wait for a call from AFC Wimbledon never ends – fate seems to be pushing you ever closer to football’s overcrowded scrap heap.

The irony was painful for Harry Arter – finding himself in a lonely place frequented by so many, a distant no-man’s land where ability alone is seldom enough to plot a course back to a fruitful career path.

Even those who can concoct physical attributes with the right attitude and application often miss out – the lack of opportunity and the need to make a living being just two stumbling blocks.

So where do you turn?

Fortunately for Arter, Cherries and the Republic of Ireland, he had England international and brother-in-law Scott Parker in his corner to help kick off what would prove to be a rags-to-riches fairytale.

“Without a shadow of doubt, he has helped me get to where I am today,” said Arter of Fulham midfielder Parker. “His experience is something I regard very highly. I try to listen and do as much as he tells me.

“When I got released by Charlton, he was someone who gave me guidance to get me back to where he felt I could be.

“For someone of his quality to have so much confidence in me – and I probably didn’t realise this at the time – helped me to stay driven.”

Having exited the Addicks, Arter was persuaded to join Woking, then of the Conference South, by assistant-manager Jimmy Dack, his mentor at Welling.

The youngster fell in love with the game again but financially, the numbers did not stack up.

“When I dropped down to non-league, the money was not good so he would give me odd jobs round the house, or my sister would, to keep me going,” Arter continued.

“I was only young at the time and was doing anything to try to get a bit of money. He let me live at his house as well and I am very thankful for that.

“When I look back, I probably did not think too much of it at the time. I just took it in my stride and enjoyed my football.

“But now I reflect on it, subconsciously, the help I got and not having to worry about the same things other kids my age had to probably gave me the platform to be in this position.

“I would mow the lawn and pick up the kids, just little things I would have done for nothing but it was his way of making me feel like I was earning something and helping me out.

“At that time, I wouldn’t say I felt I was in need of anything but he could see I was trying to help myself and that there were things he could give me a little push with.”

In an unlikely quirk of fate, the master now plies his trade at a lower level to his apprentice but that does not mean Arter has stopped soaking up the advice – particularly when dealing with the frustration of setbacks.

“He is just like another family member when it comes to things like that,” said Arter.

“I wouldn’t say Scott 100 per cent helps me get over that, I speak to other family members just as much, but he has been in that position before.

“It is nice to speak to somebody and put things in perspective because you have to try to push things to one side, concentrate on the positives and move on to the next game.

“He speaks to me more on an individual basis than what he feels the team could improve on and doesn’t interfere unless I ask.

“I know if he has watched a game, he will give his honest opinion. He is someone I respect more than anyone in football.”