This time last year Brad Spencer was struggling near the bottom of League One with part-time Dumbarton and his career was at a crossroads.
Fast forward 12 months and the midfielder is competing at the opposite end of the table, having returned to full-time football with Raith Rovers, via Forfar Athletic.
Not only that, the 23-year-old has just penned a contract extension keeping him at the Kirkcaldy club until the summer of 2021.
Having been forced to consider possible careers outwith football following his release from Kilmarnock 15 months ago, he is eager to make the most of his opportunity at Stark’s Park.
“Going part-time was a bit of a shock to my system, but it made me want to work harder and get back to full-time,” he told the Press.
“At first going part-time you look at it and think, ‘I don’t want to do that’, but at the end of the day I had to play games.
“At times I was thinking about jobs outside football, but I just put my head down, started working harder, and then I got my move here.
“I credit Forfar for that because I was in relegation battle with Dumbarton, and they took me there where we were fighting for promotion.
“Now I’m back full-time and playing every week, which is only going to benefit me because you can see in my performances that I’m getting fitter and stronger.”
Spencer has been an ever present in the Raith midfield, striking up a formidable partnership with Regan Hendry, while showing an eye for a killer pass.
His impressive form has earned him a new deal, which Spencer puts down to the brand of football adopted by manager John McGlynn.
“I’m delighted because I’ve enjoyed my football since I’ve come here,” he said.
“It’s a style of football that I wanted to come and play in, and you can see I’m thriving in it.
“It’s a style you don’t see much in Scotland, especially the lower leagues but it suits myself and Regan, and all the rest of the boys who want to get the ball down and play.
“I’m loving working with the gaffer and the coaching staff here, and it’s great group of boys, a really close knit group, so I’m delighted to extend my stay.
“Now it’s just about getting the club back to where it belongs in the Championship, and maybe even higher.
“We all promotion for the fans because they’ve been brilliant since day one.”
Brad is the son of the former Scotland, Rangers, Chelsea and Motherwell striker John Spencer, who has been a regular spectator at Rovers games this season.
“He’s delighted to see me get a bit of stability at a club now,” Brad said.
“He keeps telling me to work harder, push on and fight for the next contract, and that’s what I’m doing.
“He comes to quite a lot of games and gives me good feedback and bad feedback, but I need it. He’s very experienced, so it helps me in the long run.”