IT HAS been almost 500 days since Jim Goodwin last took to the field as a player.

While every single footballer dreams of ending their playing time in glory, Goodwin's final act is one he will likely want to airbrush from history; a miserable 5-2 defeat at the hands of erstwhile League One side Albion Rovers.

On that fateful September afternoon, the Wasps boss was so infuriated by his own display that he hooked himself at half time for PJ Crossan.

Going out in a blaze of glory this was not.

Just under a year and a half later, Goodwin and his Alloa side find themselves in a very different position to that fateful day in Clackmannanshire. Indeed, Goodwin is a very different man to the player who stubbornly built up a reputation as a no-nonsense midfield battler.

In the 480 days that have passed, Rangers have had three different managers, 36 players have signed for Championship rivals Falkirk, and Alloa have fought back from losing positions an astonishing 18 times in leagues and cups; not to mention their promotion to Scotland's second tier.

But one thing has remained unchanged. Despite naming himself on Alloa's bench 23 times in the league games since, his number has yet to be called.

Will we ever see Goodwin commit body and soul to a 50/50 challenge in a Wasps shirt again?

"I really, really hope not," laughed Goodwin. "If I have to put out the boots and get out there then it means we have a severe injury crisis or suspension crisis.

"If you watch me in training, you'll understand why. I am a mile off it these days."

In two years as a manager, Goodwin has already proven himself to be one of the SPFL's brightest young talents.

Whereas he was known for his ruggedness on the pitch, his ability to motivate a group of players in performing well above what was expected from the outside world has so far been his outstanding quality as a boss.

Not only has the Irishman guided Alloa to promotion from League One, but he has also led them to six games unbeaten in Scotland's second tier for only the second time since 1985.

"My focus is purely on the management side of things and I am loving it," he continued. "I don't overly miss the playing.

"There are times when you see a 50/50 and you want to be in it, but I am loving the management side of things.

"This will be my final year as a player there's no doubt about that."

Goodwin returns to St Mirren this weekend for the first time since leaving the Paisley side for the Wasps in 2015.

Captaining them to League Cup glory in 2013, Goodwin's success on the field was perhaps no more keenly felt than in his six years with the Buddies.

Now he's an Alloa man and, although many of a black and white persuasion are crying out to see him follow in the footsteps of Jack Ross in the Simple Digital Arena dugout, there will only be one thought on Goodwin's mind from 3pm on Saturday.

He said: "It will be strange going back there with a team trying to beat them.

"As soon as you get over there and get in the dressing room before the game then the business head comes on and it's all about doing what's best for Alloa.

"I think if we go there with the right frame of mind and are positive then we've got a really good chance of winning the game."