FOR a young man desperate to make his way in the game, there are few better places for Sam Roscoe to learn his trade than in amongst the Championship relegation dogfight.

In his six months in Clackmannanshire, the youngster has proven a hit at Alloa and become integral to the side's success.

Following in the footsteps of Scotland international Scott McKenna, he is just the latest in a conveyor belt of young talent to learn their trade at the Wasps.

And although the Mancunian's future remains in question, the defender is in no doubt his time at the Indodrill Stadium has been invaluable to his future career.

"I am really enjoying it and couldn't ask for anything more than playing week-in-week-out," he told Advertiser Sport. "Since coming here, I think I have really improved especially as a 20-year-old and never having played a professional game before this season.

"Playing against experienced players each week, I feel my game has come along so much more than it would have had I stayed at the under-20s at Aberdeen.

"When you are a young centre-half, you need to take your chance as teams normally go with experienced players at the back.

"But, the gaffer has taken a chance on me and hopefully I have repaid him with some of my performances."

For many onlookers, the youngster certainly has grabbed his chance with both hands, starting every league game since making his debut against Dundee United.

He's become so important to the side that just last week Jim Goodwin revealed he was anxious any potential move for McKenna would make Roscoe's return to Pittodrie inevitable.

While it may be giving his current manager sleepless nights, Roscoe insists McKenna – who played four games for the Wasps in January 2016 – is an inspiration to all young players out on loan.

He added: "I've watched him play many times and it's good to see that he's taken the path and gone out on loan and then come back and made his way into the Aberdeen squad.

"That's the end goal for me. As much as I want to win week-in-week-out here, I want to get into the first team and my spell here is just helping."

At the other end of the age spectrum to McKenna, Alloa skipper Andy Graham has helped to ease Roscoe's transition into first team football.

"Andy (Graham) is unbelievable and so experienced," Roscoe said. "He keeps you right through the 90 minutes and he doesn't switch off.

"That means you can't switch off. He is always talking to you and keeping you going.

"For me, as an inexperienced player, that's what you need beside you. On and off the pitch, he's been massive."

Like all of the young loanees making up the bulk of Goodwin's squad, Roscoe finds himself with a decision to make on his future.

The manager wants to keep him and Roscoe is loving his time in Clacks, but it's ultimately a decision he will have little say in.

He said: "I have spoken to a few people at Aberdeen, but I've just got to wait for decisions above me before I can come back here.

"For me, playing every week is benefitting me, so you would think that in the long run it would benefit Aberdeen.

"But, it's up to them at the end of the day."