The differences between academy football and life at the non-league coal face couldn't be further apart - but Stevenage's David Hicks has loved every minute of his time at Potters Bar Town.

The midfielder moved from the League One side's U18s to the Isthmian League Premier Division outfit on a month's loan and has impressed many at the Lantern Stadium with his performances.

A couple of goals as well have been a welcome addition and helped with the whole experience.

He said: "It's been going well and I'm enjoying it a lot. It’s been a new challenge for me, this is my first experience of men’s football. 

"Pre-season was hard [at Stevenage] too but they have both been great experiences. 

"[The biggest thing I’ve learned] is the game management because the football is completely different. 

"Three points means so much in [non-league] football so to have that experience of winning games is great. 

"The lads are good, the manager is good, the staff, everyone around Potters Bar as well, they are all lovely. 

"[Manager] Max Mitchell is close friends with my dad so it's been nice to be with him. He's always looked after me so as soon as I got there, I felt at home. 

"It's always good to score and it’s a good feeling to score when you get three points or get through in the cup of stuff like that." 

He tasted his first defeat last time out when Leiston knocked them out of the FA Trophy but before that he was part of a side who racked up 11 games without defeat, all after they began the season with six straight losses.

Hicks said: "When I got there, everyone was already on a high and the changing room was good. I walked into a nice changing room. 

"As soon as I got there, it felt like home and then when we were winning, it felt [even better]."

When asked if his stay would be extended, he answered quite simply that he was unsure.

"I've got the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday [at Burgess Hill Town]," he said, "and then I'll see what happens from there. "

Hicks had joined the club at the same time as another League One loanee, goalkeeper Laurence Shala, also joining for an initial month.

The Wycombe Wanderers man will now stay until January 3 after the clubs agreed an extension.

A Potters Bar statement said: "We are delighted. The youngster has become an influential member of the side already and we are glad he is extending his stay at the Lantern Stadium.

"We would like to thank Wycombe Wanderers for their assistance in helping the loan to take place."

Shala has played six games for Bar since his arrival on October 6, keeping two clean sheets.

The Scholars were without a game on Saturday as Horsham were making memories by drawing 3-3 at Barnsley in the FA Cup first round.

Ironically that means that the rearranged league game at the Lantern Stadium, moved to November 14, has to be switched again to accommodate the replay against the League One side.

Town are next in action on Saturday when they go to Concord Rangers.