FINISHING rock-bottom of any division after competing in the playoffs the season prior would come as quite the shock to the system for most young players.

One minute you are constantly battling with the creme de la creme, even topping the standings at one point, the next confidence is shot, and survival is on the brain.

Many jumped ship in Bradford (Park Avenue)'s disastrous drop-off, one of the only constants, amid interest from EFL clubs, remained a certain Lewis Knight, and he is now reaping the rewards with a move up the ladder to Notts County.

Speaking to the T&A, Knight gave his initial reaction: "It is a dream come true, it doesn’t happen to many people.

"It came out of the blue. I only really started talking to them last Monday and it has already happened.

"The longer it went after our season finished the less likely a move was going to come. The fact it has now happened is a huge bonus.

"It is the chance I have needed. I have had a few good seasons at Bradford (Park Avenue) but now it is time to make that step up and see if I do have the qualities to make it in the higher divisions."

It will forever be in Low Moor where he first made his name though. A rollercoaster three years have included heartbreak, reprieve, and euphoria.

"It is just more about playing men’s football. If someone said when I was 16 as a Leeds United scholar, 'go play for Bradford (Park Avenue)', I would have probably said, 'not for me'.

"But after going through it, I would jump at it because you learn so much more playing with experienced players like Luca (Havern), Rossy (Mark Ross), Cleey (Nicky Clee) and OJ (Oli Johnson).

"They just help you and teach you how to adapt. Without them, I don’t think I would have been able to develop as much as I have done so far.

He added: "In 2018-19, a lot was said at the club, but we were still able to make the playoffs. That was definitely the best year I have had in football.

"This season on a personal note is my best season, but, in terms of the team, that first year will forever be in my mind."

The Avenue faithful played such a vital role in that incredible run, and Knight was really disappointed he could not bid farewell in person.

"It has been one of the best times of my life at Bradford (Park Avenue). It is sad but at the same time, the club want the best for me, and I think this is the right move.

"I became quite close with some of the fans, and it is a shame they have not been able to go this past year.

"I am very thankful for them and I want them to know how appreciative I am of their support."

It is usually in the dark moments when you can see what a youngster is made of. Sink or swim time can often define someone attempting to make the grade.

The club were brought to its knees in the then-winger's second campaign. Rotating players and managers far too many times created an incoherent mess.

"That is part and parcel of football," Knight bluntly muted.

"One minute the manager is there and then he is not. My second season we had 60 odd players; it is hard to gel. From the start of the season until the end of it, I think there were four players.

"It was very difficult but rather than sit back and sulk, I think everyone who is still involved in the club has done really well to overturn it and put it in the right direction for the years to come."

He hopes to bring that attitude to his new employers who sit primed and ready to have an assault on the National League title and regain their football league status two years after it was removed.

Sitting in sixth, County are nine points off leaders Torquay United with three games in hand.

Although the 22-year-old self-admittedly is not at his usual sharp standards yet, he is extremely keen to play a crucial part in the run-in.

"Every team wants to get that promotion," he insisted.

"A lot of clubs buy players and expect them to make an instant impact and I don’t think that is the case with Notts County. They want me to go in and adjust, work hard, then hopefully I will be able to repay the faith that they have shown in me.

"Notts County are a massive club and they should be higher than where they are.

"Although they have had a few problems in the past, I think they are in a real good place right now and it is a great time for me to join them as they make that rise again."

Despite Knight being well on his way to where every non-league player wants to be, I am sure he will never forget his Horsfall roots.

"If I do go on to bigger and better things it all started with Bows (Mark Bower) and Bosh (Danny Boshell), between the pair of them I cannot thank them enough.

"They pretty much kickstarted this and now it is time to crack on and make sure I keep going up the pyramid."