ALLOA new boy Stefan Scougall struggled to contain his excitement at simply kicking a ball again.

Scougall, who joined the club after a spell at Carlisle United, has made two substitute appearances since signing and he has been loving getting some minutes in his legs and a feel for the ball again.

The former Sheffield United player told Advertiser Sport: "It's been a long time [since playing] obviously due to the circumstances we're facing right now so for me to get back training, that was one of the main things for me, being able to train somewhere."

Scougall was invited by manager Peter Grant to train with the first team and it was following these sessions that a deal was thrashed out.

The forward said: "To be fair, the gaffer could have put any session on and I would have enjoyed it because I was at the stage where I hadn't trained since back in March so I was just happy to be back, running about, kicking a ball, passing the ball and being around other footballers.

"For me it was [also] about going and seeing what it's all about in terms of part-time football because it's something I've never really done in my career.

"The boys, the gaffer and the staff all made me feel welcome so once we got through the week's training, the gaffer said they could offer me a deal and I was just happy to get it signed and become an Alloa player."

Like all footballers both professional and recreational, Scougall admits not being able to play during the months of lockdown were a struggle. He last trained in March and last played a game in January.

He added: "It was a bit of a rollercoaster: you can do as much running as you want but as soon as you come into proper football training, it's a totally different kind of fitness."

Before the footballing world was halted due to Covid-19, Scougall's career was on the verge of a huge relocation.

"I actually had a move to Australia sorted," he said. "The figures were all agreed and [the deal] was just waiting to be signed. However, due to the uncertainty with Covid, the league wasn't confirmed for this season at the time.

"For me, it's what's happening now and I've signed for Alloa and, hopefully, I can help the club do well."

Peter Grant told Advertiser Sport that he remembered seeing Scougall play for Sheffield United and he says that was a huge factor in signing for the club.

Scougall said: "It's a big part of why you want to go and play for a certain team and a certain manager because they know a lot about you and how you play so for me it became a no-brainer.

"I played with the gaffer's son Peter [at Carlisle United] so I already knew about him before that, but for me it's massive because he knows how I play."

Scougall had already made two substitute appearances for the club when the Advertiser went to print ahead of last night's match against Edinburgh City, and he's already looking forward to this Saturday's league opener away to Greenock Morton.

He added: "It's a shorter season this season so we need to be bang at it at the start because we're missing nine games.

"[The gaffer] knows what he's going to get from me performance-wise, so it's just about how quickly he can get that which obviously comes through training and playing as much as possible before the season starts.

"In terms of what he's told me he wants from me, he just wants me to go and play and enjoy it. The way Alloa play the game should suit me down to a tee."

There is no doubting what a coup Alloa have pulled off in with the signing and Scougall is clearly thrilled with the reception he's already received.

And whatever happens with his career in the Wee County, one thing that's guaranteed is he'll be savouring every minute of it.

"Sometimes you do take football for granted," Scougall added. "It's when you can't actually play that you really miss it.

"It's been a long seven, eight months without football so when I came on [for his debut against Airdrieonians] I was buzzing.

"You miss the build-up to a game, even though it's totally different now due to the circumstances, and the adrenaline that goes through your body so I was over the moon to come on after a long period off."