Being released from your boyhood club would be tough for any young footballer, but Jack Armer feels he is in a far better place 12 months on from his Preston North End departure.
The 20-year-old, who joined PNE at the age of seven and signed a professional deal at Deepdale in 2019, racked up 27 appearances for Carlisle United this season.
Armer was one North End let go with regret last summer and the League Two club snapped him up.
His manager, Chris Beech recently spoke highly of him and Armer himself insisted at the time of the move that there was an inner-drive to prove North End wrong.
Given how well things went in his first year with Carlisle, is that feeling towards PNE similar?
"I'd say a little bit, I've still got a point to prove in terms of getting back up to the Championship and playing as high as I can," he told LancsLive. "I'm obviously playing games, I'm happy and it's my first proper season in the Football League.
"It was a weird one (with Preston), I've supported North End since I was a kid but people asked me how they did last year after matches and I had no idea.
"I just sort of switched off from it and you speak to other lads who have been released from the club they support too - you just kind of lose a bit of interest.
"All my mates are North End fans and so you know what's going on and what's happened, but if someone asked me at half-five on a Saturday what the North End score was I'd have no idea.
"There is still a bit of fire in there to go and prove a point. I got released, we went straight into a lockdown and couldn't train anywhere, but I got straight on the phone to Chris (Beech) because I knew there had been interest from Carlisle to take me in the January.
"I spoke to him personally and he knew what I was about, he had watched me play."
Armer's first season in the EFL was one he will never experience again, with him and his team mates often crammed into a car after games stinking of sweat due to showers being off limits post-match.
But the squad he walked into, albeit freshly put together, was one that clicked from minute one - which helped make a difficult season mentally, that bit easier.
"There were 13 or 14 signings in the summer so it was a totally new group and we were on trial, training in a park - six or seven of us - before we even signed," he added. "So you met some and then when we could go in and mix, nobody knew anyone, but it was quite a tight group and everyone was spot on with each other.
"It was a good set of lads and we had a good season, but because you play a game and are then two days away from the next one, you are constantly thinking about football.
"You couldn't really go out, there were no team nights out or anything and there was just no release from it really."
On reflection now, how ready did Armer feel to kick on with North End, had the contract been on the table?
"The squad was that big and me, Adam O'Reilly and Jack Baxter trained with the youth team for most of the time as first-year pros," he said. "I was out-on-loan and the non-league schedule was pretty hectic, so I was hardly ever with the first-team other than the odd bounce game.
"There wasn't much chance to show what you could do and there aren't many 17/18 year-olds who play in the Championship, unless they're exceptionally good.
"It wasn't that I didn't really get a chance, it just didn't happen for me and I think it was a blessing in disguise really, getting let go, because I now feel like I'm in a much better position than I was last season.
"I've learned much more, I wasn't sure how I would do but once I got a chance in December I just felt like I fitted in nicely and I ended up with over 25 appearances this season - which is much more than I had set-out for.
"I'm happy with how the season went on a personal note.
"Because you're playing so often, you had to settle into it quickly and we were winning games when I came into the team - you have bodies around you helping you and I think I took to it quite well.
"Hopefully I can play 30+ games next season and we will just see what happens then - you have to perform well, but the more games you play, the better you hope to get and then you see if you get that move or just keep working.
"We went top of the league in January and 12 games got rearranged, which totally killed us. Everyone was knackered but next season I don't see why we can't be in top three."
Armer had a familar face on loan with him at Brunton Park - PNE's Ethan Walker, who is entering the final year of his contract.
Walker didn't feature as regularly but that wasn't necessarily his fault, as Armer explained.
"When he came at the start of the season, he played three games and picked up the shoulder injury," he said. "When he came back in February, we'd signed another forward in the January and he didn't get much of a sniff.
"He didn't get much of a sniff after that, he came on in a few games and looked decent - I think he will be looking to get out on loan again next season if he can."