TWO weeks ago Martin Mooney was sunning himself in the south of Spain, but on Saturday it was the heat of North Lanarkshire which left him hot under the collar.

Mooney's Sauchie reign began with defeat to Kilsyth Rangers thanks to a second-half strike but there were plenty of positives for the 48-year-old to take from the performances of his depleted Reds.

With new boys Kyle Turnbull, Lewis Small and David McCaughie on holiday, Mooney was forced to draft in a host of trialists and youngsters who more than matched the Wee Gers but just couldn't find the net.

"It happens to teams that are a higher level than us and every team who is in part-time is in the same boat," Mooney told Advertiser Sport.

"It was a good exercise and I was able to make some changes and give some younger boys a game.

"It was what it was and we had a couple of chances before the changes changed the tempo of the game.

"Wee Connor had a chance, Darren had a chance, and we've hit the bar. They also hit the bar but they are a big physical team and the chances came from set pieces.

"You could see Craig Donaldson, Mark Sharp and Ant McTaggart getting into the areas between the centre halves to make passes. We've not had a chance to work on those sorts of things because being a part-time club you have to do fitness first.

"For me, it's a learning curve as well as I've not seen the boys play.

"It's the first game and I take a lot away from it in terms of 'Can he play there? Can he do a job there?'

"And we've asked big Steven to play up front and he's not a striker."

Hot on the heels of the capture of Turnbull and Small, Mooney dipped into his East Stirlingshire playbook once again by securing the signing of Kris Faulds.

The 24-year-old midfielder may have been missing on Saturday, but Mooney is confident he will have an impact in the Wee County.

Scotland amateur internationalist Greg McGuinness, Jamie Munro, and Lee Dawson are among the players Mooney is currently casting his eye over and he remains hopeful of adding to his squad sooner rather than later.

He continued: "It was pleasing to see how the boys who got their chance played. I just want boys who've got a wee bit of hunger and it helps if they are local.

"It is very important to have some local boys because they grew up in the area and think it makes a big difference.

"I was speaking to a friend of mine who said at this level of part-time football pre-season doesn't start until the first few games of the real season."

Sauchie face Alloa Reserves in a game at the Indodrill Stadium on Wednesday, July 10, at 7.30pm before travelling to Glenafton on Saturday, July 13, for a 2pm kick off.