DAVID McCaughie doesn’t fit the stereotype of your average footballer.

Not many players combine their career with a PhD and it’s likely even fewer will spend their days assessing the impacts of climate change on Scotland’s monuments.

But the Sauchie new boy and former Alloa youngster does just that and for him time spent on the pitch is the perfect release from his studies at Stirling University.

McCaughie became Martin Mooney’s first arrival at Beechwood Park last week when he joined his former coach in making the move from Lowland League East Stirlingshire.

“I have not really come across anyone that does that (a PhD in environmental science),” McCaughie explained to Advertiser Sport. “Most boys have had enough of studies by the time they finish their degree or school.

“But football is a good escape from PhD life, which can be a bit stressful.

“I’ve always got that Tuesday and Thursday training to help me relax and get my mind off things and then obviously the game.

“The PhD doesn’t go through my head at all when I am playing and football is just a total release.”

McCaughie caught the eye of Shire bosses during a spell at Hawick Royal Albert and was one of just two players to feature in every league game at the Falkirk Stadium last season.

He had previously spent time as a youth player at the club and - following a one-year break in America - later turned out for his university side before returning to East Stirlingshire via Hawick.

There he worked with Mooney and manager John Sludden and admits the appeal of linking up with his ex-coach swayed his decision to switch to the Wee County.

The 24-year-old said: “I knew Martin from East Stirlingshire and worked with him for the first couple of months of the season.

“I really enjoyed that and then he gave me a call a couple of weeks ago, really keen to get me into Sauchie.

“Sauchie is a team I have always known as a top Junior side and I think this new Premier Division is going to be even more competitive than the Lowland League.

“A big appeal of the move was playing under someone who knows you and who believes you are a good player.

“That’s a huge part of it and if you’ve got a manager who is confident in you and believes in you then you are more confident taking to the pitch.

“He knows where I am at and is someone who will bring high quality training and lots of enthusiasm to the role.

“He is a motivating manager with a real desire to win.”

The midfielder - who can also play upfront - is eager to get going at Sauchie and hopes he can excite the Beechwood Park faithful.

He said: “I always like to go forward when I’ve got the ball and as soon as I get it I am direct and like to get at teams.”