DARIO Zanatta is in no hurry to force his way into the Canadian national team – but the Alloa ace admits representing his country would be 'incredible'.

The Hearts loanee has lit up the Wee County this season, winning the Championship player of the month for December and helping fire the side to within a shot of securing league survival against all the odds.

His form hasn't gone unnoticed; the Premiership side handed him a one-year extension in January, and the Wasps fought off the advances of a number of clubs to secure his signature for the second half of the campaign.

Unsurprisingly, there's been talk of the 21-year-old joining the likes of Rangers' Scott Arfield and Cardiff City's Junior Hoilett in Canada's increasingly-competitive national side and even representing The Canucks at the Olympics in 2020.

But for now, the British Columbia native is keen to focus all of his attention on the Wasps' survival efforts as he looks to secure his place in Alloa folklore.

"I would love to get called up to the senior squad at some stage," he told Advertiser Sport. "I know that is maybe just a little bit of reach at this point of time.

"I am just focussing on my club football as that's what I do everyday and my focus is on Alloa and helping the team to secure as many points as possible before the end of the season.

"There are definitely aspirations to be involved but I am not too worried about it at the moment.

"It would be incredible to experience something like the Olympics. It's not easy for Canada to qualify for big tournaments, but I would be delighted to be involved at any stage."

A career in football might not sound like the natural choice in a country more obsessed with chasing a puck on ice than putting the ball in the net, but Zanatta comes from footballing stock.

His dad Dante, who coaches football at the University of British Columbia, ensured there was little chance of him choosing the NHL over his dreams of following in the footsteps of the likes of Dwayne De Rosario and even Canadian-born Owen Hargreaves.

Zanatta continued: "I have played football since I was three or four years old. My dad is a coach and it is just something that has been with me my whole life.

"Hockey is the sport that Canada is known for but soccer is very popular. I am pretty sure it has gotten to the point where are more kids playing it than playing hockey.

"It is definitely growing and definitely going in the right direction."

On the pitch, it's no secret Zanatta and the Wasps have struggled in recent weeks, winning just once in six as the Canadian has failed to find the back of the net in 2019.

For a young player, the lull following a purple patch often sees their confidence plummet as fresh doubts arise about their ability.

Zanatta, however, has refused to let the tough recent spell get him down and sees his role on the pitch as more than just the number of goals he scores.

He continued: "The last few months haven't been ideal for Alloa, but if you had told us we'd be just two points behind our rivals at this stage of the season I think everybody would have been happy with it.

"We've not had any problems with being down and we know that in this league we can give anybody a game.

"I am out there to score goals but I don't really get too down on it when I am going through a tricky spell.

"It's never easy to have not scored in a while, but confidence is not something I struggle with."