In 1988, 23-year-old American goalkeeper Justin Bryant thought a glorious career in professional football awaited him. He had just saved two penalties for his American club - the Orlando Lions - against Scotland's Dunfermline Athletic, to help claim the first piece of silverware in their history. He was young, strong, healthy, and confident.
But professional football, he found, is rarely easy.
Small Time is the story of a life spent mostly in the backwaters of the game. As Justin negotiated the Non-League pitches of the Vauxhall-Opel League, and the many failed professional leagues of the U.S. in the 1980s and 90s, he struggled not only with his game, but his physical and mental health.
Battling stress, social anxiety, a mysterious stomach ailment, and simple bad luck, he nonetheless experienced fleeting moments of triumph that no amount of money can buy. Football, he learned, is 95% blood, sweat, and tears; but if you love it enough, the other 5% makes up for it.