THERE'S no doubt that one day Jim Goodwin's phone is going to ring and there will be someone on the other end with an offer he can't refuse.

Fresh from having defied the odds to keep Alloa in the Championship, the Irishman's stock has never been higher.

It's the worst kept secret in the Wee County that sooner rather than later he will no longer be their manager.

Knowing when to move on from something good is never an easy call. Knowing when to take a step up in the management ladder is, arguably, even harder.

When Goodwin eventually does take the step to pastures new, echoing Jack Ross and Paul Hartley before him, he will undoubtedly go with the best of wishes from everyone at the club having never shied away from his ambitions.

Indeed, from day one, he's been up front about where his future lies.

Goodwin's honesty – in a day and age where footballers are media-managed to within an inch of their life in the fear that one wrong word will lead to a national scandal – is as refreshing as it is surprising.

"I have always had confidence in my own ability as a player and as a manager," he told Advertiser Sport. "I have had three really great years in Alloa where I have been allowed to make mistakes, allowed to make bad decisions and learn from them."

Speak to anyone about the former St Mirren player and they'll invariably – fairly or not – come up with a similar description for his role on a football pitch.

Think slide tackles, yellow cards, and stand-offs and you'll be in the right ballpark.

Equally, speak to anyone who had the pleasure of watching his Alloa side over the last ten months and they'll offer a very different take.

Rather than wait to be picked off by the big boys, Alloa proved time and time again they were more than a match for the likes of Ross County and Dundee United.

It'll come as no surprise, then, to those who know Jim Goodwin the manager that his side's collective identity stems from his own personal experiences.

Written off from day one, Goodwin has taken pleasure in proving people wrong from the moment he strapped on his boots.

He said: "I have had people telling me I am not good enough my whole career and I would be lying if I said that doesn't help.

"At the start of the season, I showed the whole squad all of the clips and the articles of people writing us off.

"I asked them if they are going to accept that? Are they going to accept people telling them they are not good enough to be in the Championship?

"A lot of the boys we brought in or who were with us before were guys who had been written off before and they took the chance to prove everyone wrong."

Look through the Alloa squad and you'd struggle to find a player who hadn't been deemed not good enough for Scotland's second tier by someone.

Top goalscorer Alan Trouten? Brechin believed he was more at home in League One.

Club captain Andy Graham? He didn't miss a single minute and was named in the team of the season despite having been previously released by teams who felt they needed something else.

Neil Parry, Scott Taggart, Jon Robertson, Kevin Cawley – the list goes on. But, where other managers had doubted them, Goodwin always believed they had what it takes.

So when Championship survival was secured on the last day of the season with a draw at Ayr, it's little wonder the Irishman revelled in the achievement.

Goodwin continued: "Look at the likes of Andy Graham, Trouts, and Neil Parry and these are guys who had so many doubts behind them. They were out to prove themselves from the start.

"Teams who had written us off and the boys off quickly found out we meant business.

"When we look back over the season, we were very rarely outmatched or outplayed. Maybe one time down in Ayr on a Tuesday night.

"I've said it so many times, but the players really should be proud of everything they have achieved.

"It is down to their character and down to the players wanting to prove people wrong.

"Whenever I am signing players, I have always been really big on getting to know the person and what kind of character they are.

"I always make sure to meet them for a coffee and a chat and get to know them.

"Are they the right kind of person who is going to adapt to the dressing room and the values we hold?

"I want guys who will run through brick walls for the cause and I know I have that at Alloa."

The question on the lips of everyone supporting the Wasps remains; will Jim Goodwin be taking his place in the Wee County dugout next season beside trusty lieutenants Lee Sharpe and Paddy Connolly?

It's one he's likely to be asked on a daily basis from now until mid-July.

"If I am at Alloa next season, I will be delighted," Goodwin said. "But I am not going to lie and I am a man with ambitions.

"The chairman (Mike Mulraney) has been fantastic with me from the start and in many ways he is now the one banging the drum for me to move onto bigger and better things.

"But I love it here and I have already started to prepare for pre-season and to build upon survival."