WHEN Kevin Cawley first stepped onto the turf as an Alloa player, few would have known what to expect.

The little winger had just made the switch to the Wee County from proverbial Third Division basement boys East Stirlingshire after a solid, if unspectacular, year, as new boss Paul Hartley rebuilt the side from the ground up.

But, it didn't take long for the former Celtic youngster to make his mark.

An assist and a late winner as Hartley's side defeated Stranraer on their march to the title soon brought Cawley to the attention of the Alloa faithful.

Their attention has rarely left him since and 301 games later Cawley has sealed his place in club legend.

A major cog in the side which won the title in his maiden season, he played his part in the play-off win just 12 months later and was integral as the Wasps defied the odds to secure back-to-back seasons in the nation's second tier.

Cawley has become so ingrained in the fabric of the club that not even a one-year hiatus in Dumbarton could spoil his legacy.

"Alloa has been a massive part of my life," Cawley told Advertiser Sport. "It's my seventh season and I have always had good times here.

"There have probably been more highs than lows and if we can stay up this year that would probably be the biggest achievement given the league we are in and the teams we are up against.

"One of the supporters actually said to me that I scored the winning goal at Stranraer and that kicked me off and my Alloa career.

"Outwith the the full time teams, this is the best place to be playing football.

"It's such a well run club with great backroom staff. The chairman is brilliant and the fans are fantastic."

Cawley's season away from home was a struggle and although he felt the high of scoring in a win against Hibs, he never really took to his new surroundings.

Safe to say, when Jack Ross offered him the chance to make the switch back to the Wee County, Cawley jumped at the opportunity.

And unsurprisingly, among his many great achievements at the club, victory over his former side in the Championship play-offs last season ranks at the top of pile.

He said: "I just feel loved here and part of it. I've been quite lucky to play in teams where the dressing room is really good.

"Everyone at the club make you feel part of it and there are so many heroes behind the scenes who add to it."

His tally of 302 games – as of the win over Ross County – has Cawley 11th in the all-time appearance list for the Wasps.

Another season in Clackmannanshire could see him surpass Bobby Gray's record and the winger made no secret of his intentions.

The 30-year-old added: "Hopefully, I can get many more and I've got my eyes set on the top.

"If I am still here next year, I wouldn't mind trying to get that."

After Saturday's game, manager Jim Goodwin was full of praise for Cawley and his commitment to the Wasps.

He said: "In this day and age, there is not that kind of loyalty at too many places. The wee man has been away from the club but has always wanted to come back and I think that is testament to the people behind the scenes.

"Players do leave but they are desperate to come back when they see the grass isn't always greener.

"Kevin has been a brilliant servant to the club and has scored some really important goals over the years.

"To make 300 appearances is just outstanding. He is a very reliable player and very rarely lets you down.

"If I am here next year, he will be here next year. It really is as simple as that.

"We want boys here that give you 100 percent effort and that's what every fan and manager wants.

"He is a pleasure for me as a young manager to work with and the boys love him."