IF IT WASN'T for the eagerness of Jim Goodwin, Andy Stirling could easily have decided to ply his trade elsewhere this season.

The 29-year-old had just departed Queen of the South – following the side's play-off survival – and was at a crossroads in his career; unsure whether to have one or two more seasons in the full-time game or to make the switch back to combining time on the pitch with life in the 'real' world.

Offers flooded in from a whole host of clubs, including Alloa's Championship rivals, for the talented midfielder who eventually whittled things down to a final three.

But, he was left in no doubt the Wee County was the place to be and he jumped at the opportunity putting pen-to-paper on a one-year deal last week.

Stirling told Advertiser Sport: "I had a few offers and was weighing stuff up, but it's just the way Alloa played last season and just how eager he [Goodwin] was.

"He was probably the most eager of all the teams to try and get me in.

"I had a few full-time offers, but just didn't think the offers were good enough. I am not precious about it and just want to play football.

"The gaffer made it clear to me that would happen here and I would be a part of the team.

"I narrowed it down to three offers and just weighed up all the options and this was the one I wanted to do the most.

"You don't want to go somewhere you just become a jersey and he seemed keen to get me in.

"The club is run really well, really professionally and everyone is enjoying it. That's the main thing. If everyone enjoys it and you are singing from the same hymn sheet, then you will do well."

Stirling linked up with his new Wasps team-mates last week as the club ramped up their pre-season preparations ahead of their first friendly against a Celtic XI last night as Advertiser Sport was going to press.

Despite having played for a number of different clubs and even a brief spell in America, he has been surprised by the level of training and even more impressed with the side's philosophy.

"It's been good and I have been enjoying it," he said. "The pre-season has been excellent so far and we've even had the ball out already.

"Sometimes when you do pre-season you don't see the ball for weeks. It's been good just to get in and get it done.

"The gaffer seems very positive and keen for this season and knows what he wants to do with the club.

"Everyone knows their jobs and what to expect and it's just an honest group of boys.

"I've done a couple of pre-seasons where you don't see a ball for weeks and know pre-season is over as soon as you see one.

"I prefer getting the ball out and think you enjoy it.

"People don't understand that you will work just as hard with the ball as without it.

"Being the part-time team in the league it was expected that they would be backs against the wall, but that's not the mindset he [Goodwin] instilled in the boys.

"He wanted them to know that they are as good as the opposition. If you just sit in and defend, you will eventually lose.

"If you go out and attack teams you will cause them issues."

Stirling – who also spent time in his earlier career with local rivals Stirling Albion – was a mainstay in erstwhile Queen of the South manager Gary Naismith's Doonhamers side last term.

The Borders side had looked dead certs for a Premiership play-off spot after their flying start to the season, before a miserable 2018 saw them secure survival in the most dramatic of fashions.

And while Queens found the wretched spell tough to snap out of, Stirling believes it should put him in good stead for his time at Alloa.

He said: "I didn't think we dealt with our bad spell well enough and we panicked, dropping points from winning positions.

"If we had won one more game from Christmas until the end of the season, then we would have been safe, which shows you how bad a run we went on.

"You need to learn to know when you need to play a certain way. You can't always be playing well and need to know how to manage games better.

"Like Dundee United at Tannadice. You won't have the ball as much and need to be ready to take the chances when you get them.

"There are four or five teams who think they can win it and also four or five who think they can do down."