DANNY SMITH believes Sauchie Juniors have room for improvement as he reflected on his first full season with the club.

Smith signed in May 2020 but that season was decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic and so this past season has been the former Linlithgow Rose man's first full campaign at Beechwood.

The midfielder picked up Advertiser Sport's Player of the Year Award as well as being the club's top scorer and being awarded the club committee's Player of the Year.

He told Advertiser Sport: "I'm surprised. Obviously I feel the team's played quite well this year so it's hard to think there's been a standout but from my own personal point of view I'm delighted.

"It's nice to be given that praise so definitely a wee bit surprised but delighted overall.

"At the start of the season, the first four or five games when we didn't pick up a point I couldn't understand it. I thought we were playing decent stuff at times but we were just leaking goals for fun and then we couldn't score.

"The boys were brilliant, I knew we had a talented group. With a bit of hard work we started to click, started to pick up some points and since then I think we've been playing really well.

"Overall, a bit frustrated with the start, picked up a bit through the middle and then we maybe tailed off a little at the end which is natural with the amount of games we've played. An okay season but definitely room for improvement."

That purple patch through the middle of the season was when Fraser Duncan's side really began to flourish and included a historic Scottish Cup run.

Smith continued: "The ability of the team has always been there. Coming in in the summer there was quite a lot of new boys and maybe they just needed a bit of bedding in time.

"We did bring in a few boys after a few games and some boys left so maybe that bit of transition was needed but once we did start clicking everything was going right, we were working hard."

Smith's goals in the Scottish Cup had Sauchie living the dream and they were 90 minutes away from a potential glamour tie.

He added: "It was brilliant. I've played in the Scottish Cup previously with Linlithgow. I didn't get as much game time in that run as I did this time around.

"Scoring in the Scottish Cup is definitely the highlight of my season. It was great for Sauchie to be so successful in their first year.

"I say successful – obviously, we would have liked to go further than the third round but in terms of the first time in it I think we done exceptionally well and it's something to build on for next year.

"You want to focus on winning leagues and winning titles but you can't beat a cup run. It gets a real buzz around the team, the club and the supporters.

"It's a good opportunity to play teams at a higher level. We had the trips to Dumbarton and Fraserburgh. It's great to be a part of it.

"Auchinleck [Talbot] got Hearts which is a massive game. The opportunity is there, that fourth round, you're talking about a potential dream tie.

"We were 90 minutes away from being in the draw with your boyhood team. If that's not an incentive for anyone I don't know what would be.

"If you can keep that in the back of your mind and use that to really push on next year and make sure we're in that draw for the fourth round."