Sam Brown has been part of AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ journey right from the start.
And the reliable left-back, who possesses a bullet long throw, insists the step up to the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central so far.
Brown played in Diamonds’ first-ever senior game against Thrapston Town back in 2012 and has since helped the club to three promotions as they worked their way through the United Counties League before gaining elevation from Step 4 last season.
It has taken Diamonds time to settle at a higher level but they have put together a three-match unbeaten run that has moved them into the mid-table area.
Brown produced an impressive individual display in their most recent outing, a 1-1 draw with Barwell in blustery conditions at Hayden Road last weekend.
And, of all the steps taken up the non-League ladder so far, he believes this has been the most challenging one yet.
“It’s tough, I think this has been the biggest step up,” the popular defender said.
“Even the game at Needham Market (which Diamonds won 5-1), they weren’t a bad team it was just a day for us where everything fell into place.
“But every game at this level is going to be a battle but I am enjoying the progression.
“We feel like the performances are near enough there, it’s just the final ball into the box or the finish that is missing sometimes.
“We said after the game (Barwell) that it is three unbeaten, we probably would have liked more points from them but we have moved up into a new league and we knew it was going to be tough.
“For us, most games are going to be won or lost by the odd goal and at the minute I would rather be picking up draws than losses.”
Diamonds face a tough test this weekend as they make the trip to King’s Lynn Town.
The Linnets were among the favourites for the title this season but have struggled for form in the early stages and currently sit just two points above the relegation zone.
But Brown knows it will be another thorough examination for him and his team-mates.
“It’s a great set-up there, I have played there a couple of times and it’s always an enjoyable place to go and play,” he added.
“We know what they are going to be about. It’s going to be a hard game.
“But, looking at the start they have had, the key will be to try to put them under pressure early.
“It’s always nice to play against big teams and it will be another battle for the lads.”