I always start off as low as possible mate...Not that I heard of to be honest.
Can it be done? Of course it can, but it will take many many in-game years without outside help (by which I meant the editor)
Four seasons in, but are you getting better? I usually reckon, even in the professional leagues, two to three years to move through a division is realistic. But, down in the amateur leagues, with short contracts and high player turnover it could well take longer to develop your squad.
It really is a whole different world at that level - I enjoy it.