JAMIE MacDONALD was bracing himself for another season on the sidelines – only for Peter Grant to send him an SOS out of the blue.

The Kilmarnock stopper had given up his hopes of regular football at the Ayrshire club and even more so when the transfer window slammed shut earlier this month.

The arrival of Angelo Alessio, closely followed by not one but two goalkeepers, pushed MacDonald even further down the pecking order and he was all set to spend the winter months shivering in the stands.

That was until Neil Parry overstretched himself at East End Park to open the door for a new man between the sticks in the Wee County.

He was always number one on Grant's list of emergency replacements and no sooner had he answered a surprise phone call than he was taking his place in the Alloa team at Dundee.

"I am absolutely delighted to be here and look forward to playing for this fantastic club," MacDonald told Advertiser Sport.

"It was important for myself to get out and to play as I have not really been doing that too often during the last nine months.

"I am grateful to Kilmarnock for letting me have the opportunity to come out on loan as they could have easily decided just to run with the three first team goalkeepers.

"It is unfortunate that my opportunity came as a result of the injury to Neil, but that is often what football is like.

"You often get your opportunity due to someone else's misfortune.

"But I look forward to meeting him and getting to work with Chris (Henry) and young Andrew (Wilson)."

Many would see the move to the part-timers as a step down for a player who not so long ago was on Scotland duty with Andy Robertson.

But, MacDonald only needs to look at some of the names Alloa pit themselves against week-in-week-out to know he is in for a tough challenge.

"It is exactly what you want to be doing every week [playing against great teams]," the 33-year-old said. "It is a great league when you look at the teams in it.

"There's so much quality in the Championship and there are huge teams like Dundee, Dundee United, and Dunfermline who wouldn't look out place in the Premiership.

"It is a fantastic league and a tough one."

MacDonald – who will continue to train with Kilmarnock on Mondays and Fridays – excelled in his debut in Alloa's defeat to Dundee and is determined to grasp his chance at first team football with both hands.

He said: "I am just getting to know the boys but can already tell that they are a great group.

"We played some really good stuff on Saturday and so much of it was exciting. It's just a shame when you don't get a result, but I was enjoying being back playing football.

"I reckon I've got 16 games from now until January and want to play as well as possible."