ALLOA stalwart Graeme Holmes admits he would jump at the chance to stick around next season as he closes in on 200 appearances for the club.

The popular midfielder, who has been at the club since June 2011, can reach the landmark next term if he can secure a new deal from manager Jack Ross this summer and he believes the manager can help rebuild the club into challengers once again. 

Holmes told Advertiser sport: “There is plenty of life left in me yet and I have loved every minute of my time at Alloa. It has been the best spell of my career being at the club. We had four years of success and even when we have struggled this season at times, it has still been enjoyable to play for them.

"It was different class to apart of that team in the first four years because we knew nothing but success. It was always going to difficult this term with such an upturn of players and it really took us a while to adjust. 

“This now feels like Jack is building another one of those teams and I would love to be apart of it. I will leave that decision up to the manager because I know he will be looking to take the team forward in the right way with the backing of the chairman.

"I would love to stay, but I just don't know what will happen. It would be great to get to 200 appearances for the club with me being so close, but we will have to wait and see what happens. 

“We would love to go out and beat Dumbarton in the finale. It was a hell of a task for the manager coming in, but I feel like he has us moving forward again and so another win would help push the confidence back up for the boys who are here next year.”

Holmes played a key part in the 1-1 draw at Ibrox last weekend with a tireless shift and while he reckons it was a performance to be proud of, he says it is the manager who should gets the plaudits for his successful masterplan. 

He said: “It was an amazing performance from all the lads and it took a lot of discipline to pull it off so that made it even sweeter. The manager set us out in a certain way to try to nullify them because you have to respect them as a fantastic side who play the game the right way.

"I think we done that throughout the match and it was always going to be a case of defending for our lives and trying to nick something. Luckily for us, Michael was alert and took his chance well when it arrived and that gave us the platform to build on. 

“The game plan worked to a tee after that and credit must go to the manager for that. He knew the way Rangers play and how he wanted to go about nullifying it. Obviously, they were always still going to get chances with the amount of possession they had and we got the breaks at times especially with the missed penalty, but it was deserved with the way we implemented the game plan.

"We drew with them three times last season and probably played better than we did at the weekend, but their team is far superior now so it was always going to take a disciplined display for us to get something so it was pleasing we pulled it off.” 

The former Dundee United trainee reserved special praise for the performances of in-form keeper Scott Gallacher and goal hero Michael Duffy both of whom he believes have the potential to be top class players who can still progress in the game. 

Holmes added: “I think Scott Gallacher is a top class keeper and he should be playing full time. I thought he had an amazing game last weekend.

"There were a lot of shots where other keepers may have pushed them out or spilled, but he was holding on to them and that makes such a difference for the defence. He had four or five one on one saves as well so he showed just how good he is on the best possible stage. 

“Duffy took a lot of pleasure in his goal being a Celtic player and we are thrilled for him to get the reward for the hard work he has put in for us this season. He has been different class on the pitch for us and his attitude is second to none.

"He could have come in from a big club with a more selfish attitude, but he is a credit to Celtic with his work ethic and humility and hopefully he will go far in the game.”