Harrogate Railway Athletic boss Billy Miller has revealed Josh Windass was “destined” to go on to better things after a spell with the Evo-Stik North Division One side.
After being released by Huddersfield Town as a youngster, Windass joined the eighth-tier club in a bid to prove himself and fulfill his dream of a career as a professional footballer.
Windass impressed enough at Harrogate to earn a move to League Two Accrington before joining the Ibrox giants in 2016.
Miller revealed the lengths Windass would go to in preparation for games and the dedication shown by the then-teenager to win a move back to full-time football.
“He never missed training with us. He was always sharp and would stay on and do extra work on things like free-kicks and corners,” Miller said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
“Being released by Huddersfield would have come as a bit of a shock to him. But he knew exactly what he wanted to achieve and he used his time at Harrogate to re-find himself as a footballer.
“In fact, he actually did his own summer camp, a two-week thing with a friend of his, right at the start of pre-season to make sure he was ready.
“You could see that Josh was always destined to go on and become better. We would normally train once or twice a week and we played 42 games across the course of the season in the Evo-Stik North.
“That league ran pretty much from Darlington in the north-east and down and across to Manchester, Liverpool and back to Cumbria. It is a phenomenal commitment from the players because, obviously, most of them work as well.”
After a slow start to his Rangers career, Windass has become one of the most important players in Graeme Murty’s side and won over many of his doubters in the Gers’ support.
Windass has been in spectacular goal-scoring form in recent months with 14 goals in his last 18 appearances and, last week, earned a new contract at Ibrox until 2021.
Windass has scored 15 times in 31 games this season and chipped in with eight assists as the Light Blues look to secure second in the Scottish Premiership and lift the Scottish Cup.
In other Rangers news, Windass shares brilliant WhatsApp exchange with Barjonas prior to Gers win.