THERE are certainly easier surroundings in which Iain Diack could have started his transition from the pitch to the dugout.

The former Albion Rovers and Morton midfielder was all set for the relative comfort of a coaching role with Kilsyth Rangers side as last season came to an end.

That was until Fraser Duncan's departure opened the door to a return to Sauchie Juniors and Diack jumped at the chance.

Far away from the glitz and glamour of even the Scottish Premiership – never mind the countless millions on offer down south – the club is an honest expression of hard work and love of the game.

And reflecting on his time so far at the helm, the once Sauchie star insisted there was no place he would rather be.

"If I had had offers from anyone else, I would never have taken them," the 37-year-old told Advertiser Sport.

"I was all set for staying at Kilsyth just as part of the coaching staff.

"Other than Pollock, Sauchie were by far in a way the best club I played for purely because of the people at the club.

"The minute the offer from Sauchie came, I knew I had to give it a go.

"Being back, they've just made me feel so welcome and the opportunity to get involved in management is something I had been considering for a long time."

Diack arrived at the club in a time of upheaval, with many of the side's stars on their way out and the Reds set to make the jump from the Junior set up to the Senior side of the game.

As a rookie making his first foray into management, it was very much a time of sink or swim.

He said: "Going in there, we pretty much had no players and there was loads of work to be done.

"We had to build a brand new squad and that was quite daunting.

"We had made a decision really early to go with a squad of younger players, but you still need to go and do that and no one knows how it will turn out."

Much to even his own amazement, the side has hit the ground running with Sauchie flying-high in the East of Scotland Conference B.

By Diack's own admission, the club was in need of freshening up. So, he and assistant Adrian Hanson set about bringing in a host of young, energetic talent to Beechwood Park.

This included the likes of former Scotland youth international Mark Finlayson, former Falkirk youngster Conor Langton, and former Dundee United midfielder Darren Petrie - all of whom have hit the ground running.

As 2018 draws to a close for Diack and his Sauchie side, he is looking to 2019 with eager anticipation as they continue to hunt for promotion.

And beyond that? Well, his ambition brought him to the club and it's an ambition that continues to burn.

"I want to further myself and have ambitions to manage as high as possible," he said.

" If I can do as well as I can and the club can then do as well as it can, then that would be brilliant.

"We won't set unrealistic targets. But who knows. Maybe we could look forward to a local derby one day."