THERE are few players that have given the Sauchie Juniors faithful as much to shout about in recent years as Darren Cummings, their effervescent striker. 

His goals have been one thing - his brace in the East of Scotland Cup triumph of 2014 still talked about to this day - but he's been there off the pitch to help during difficult times. 

When Martin Mooney's short-lived reign left the Reds managerless, Cummings joined Darren Petrie to steady the ship until Fraser Duncan returned to steer Sauchie towards steadier waters. 

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: Darren Cummings, left with Darren Petrie, took over the reins when Martin Mooney stepped down last season Darren Cummings, left with Darren Petrie, took over the reins when Martin Mooney stepped down last season

The pair, alongside Duncan and Davie Beaton, complete the Beechwood Park's coaching set-up these days, their playing days finally behind them.

In Cummings' case, he's been here before, tempted by the carrot of one more season time and time again, pulling on the boots last time out at the age of 34. 

However, he's happy to confirm, it won't be the same this season. 

"I am finally retired and Fras has given me the ropes to take on the coaching," Cummings told Advertiser Sport. "I'll learn a lot from Fras and Davie. 

"They've given us responsibility to get the boys ready at training. He's a great manager to work with and he will get his points across and this team flying." 

Cummings, who's also played under Iain Diack, is sure Duncan's Sauchie revolution will pay dividends when the time comes to return to league action next month. 

The Reds have brought in a host of players, including Sam Collumbine and Danny Smith, and Cummings, 35, says he has been impressed by their application. 

"They've been absolutely brilliant and have looked great in training," he said. "It looks like we have a right good squad and they have come in and settled in really well.

"They've torn the squad to bits, so it will take time for it to gel together and things to settle. It has been hectic trying to get players in and to get them to training. 

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser:

"It's just good to be back and to be enjoying the football. We've got to be sensible and manage the squad." 

Sauchie returned to action on Saturday in a closed door friendly against Juniors Syngenta Juveniles. The Reds lost 2-0, much to Cummings' disappointment, but he is only focussed on the days ahead. 

READ MORE: Two Darrens take the helm at Sauchie in the interim

"We aren't looking too much into the score and it's about getting some exercise, changing the shape, and getting things done," he said. 

"Fras, Davie, Daz, and myself were a wee bit disappointed in the effort, but it has been a long layoff for the boys" 

Sauchie will continue their pre-season preparations with a friendly against East Fife tonight. 

They will face Oakley United and Fauldhouse United on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.