THE chance to prove people wrong drove Alloa on from their opening game in Dingwall to their final, nervy last five minutes in Ayr.

One man who was there for every second of the on-the-pitch action was skipper Andy Graham who enjoyed his own personal redemption tale by dragging his side from the abyss on more than one occasion.

Graham's story is one of heart, desire, leadership, and a penchant for bouncing back from disappointment throughout his career.

Released by Morton, released by Ayr United, doubted by those at Hamilton, Graham played his part in proving every one of them wrong as he put in the finest season of his career.

But, he couldn't have done it alone. He is just one cog in Jim Goodwin's machine of perpetual defiance, which sealed its place in Alloa history.

From that narrow defeat to Ross County, to the draw with Ayr, via a number of highs and lows along the way, Alloa were worthy of their place in the league, spurned on by the chance to leave the pundits with egg on their face.

"There's not one pundit or newspaper which gave us a chance outwith the dressing room before a ball was kicked," a delighted Graham told Advertiser Sport. "If you look back at people's predictions, they all had us as finishing tenth.

"I came in on the first day of pre-season and showed the boys. Every single person had us as tenth and that can only drive you on.

"So it's a massive achievement when you think about it like that. No-one even had us as doing okay, everybody wrote us off. So to prove everyone wrong is a fantastic achievement."

Perhaps one of the biggest factors in Alloa's survival is the core of the squad, which remained intact from League One promotion.

The likes of Iain Flannigan, Stevie Hetherington, and Neil Parry were supplemented by a host of loans; all of whom "quickly adapted" to the Wee County mentality.

Graham continued: "It's all down to the squad mentality and the togetherness in that dressing room.

"It's certainly been that way since I arrived at the club and there's always been a core of nine or ten.

"Then the loan guys come in and they quickly adapt to the way the dressing room works.

"There are so many players in our dressing rooms who wouldn't look out of place in pretty much any team in the league.

"The manager has done a fantastic job and it's something he deserves recognition for.

"I read a few articles saying we might still go down, but we've not so he deserves what he gets. That just fires you up and the manager deserves all the credit.

"But it's not just the manager, it's everyone in that dressing room and the belief to stay up. That feeds through the dressing room and it's proved to be the case."

Alloa survived on the final day thanks to their draw with Ayr as Connor Shields scored his third goal of the season to secure the vital point.

It was enough to finish 8th, Alloa's second highest league finish in 92 seasons, as Partick Thistle beat Queen of the South.

Graham's consistent performances across the season were rewarded on Sunday evening as he was named in the PFA Scotland Championship Team of the Season.

Joining the likes of Stephen Dobbie, Scott Fox, and Lawrence Shankland is some achievement for the veteran and he admitted he was shocked to be included in such company.

The 35-year-old said: "It was a massive surprise and I joked to the boys that I must be the worst player to ever be named in the team.

"It means a lot because it is voted for by the guys you are playing every week. I wouldn't even have expected to get one vote, never mind to be in the team.

"There are a few boys in our team who were very unlucky to miss out, who have been very consistent for us."