BRIAN RICE has confirmed the nucleus of Alloa’s squad has been retained as he plans for another season in League One.

Rice, speaking exclusively to Advertiser Sport, confirmed the club have managed to secure the signatures of the entire squad – with the exception of Steven Boyd – for next season.

The manager has been working with the SFA through the summer on their courses since the season ended, as he always has, but was thrilled to get his business done early.

He said: “The players I wanted to retain I wanted to get them signed up first, that was my priority. Everyone I wanted has signed up apart from Steven Boyd at the moment but I’m hopeful we can get him over the line.”

Craig Howie, Conor Sammon, Daniel Church, Scott Taggart, Cammy O’Donnell, Adam King, Kevin Cawley, Stefan Scougall, Andy Graham, Mark Durnan, Jon Robertson and Keir Burt have all signed on for the 2022/23 campaign.

Also joining the first team is youngster Steven Buchanan, who makes the step up from the under 20 squad.

“Pace,” Rice said when asked what impressed him about Buchanan. “I saw him playing in a bounce game and I just liked what I seen, he’s got something to offer.”

Rice continued: “I’m working on another three or four at the minute. We need goalkeepers. 

“I’m looking to bring in three or four [players], whether that’s loans or permanent we’ll need to wait and see but we need strengthening a little bit.”

Earlier this month the club confirmed the departures of Alan Trouten, Lucas Williamson, David Hutton, Ben Armour, Jordan Armstrong and Mark Lamont.

Rice explained that deciding not to offer a contract to Trouten wasn’t easy, but was best for all parties.

He said: “It was a hard decision for me to make. 

“Listen, I know all about Alan, I’ve seen him for years. I know he’s a big favourite at Alloa. 

“But the last couple of season the lad’s had injury after injury and he’s not been able to get on the pitch. 

“We sat down and had a conversation, an honest conversation. [It was] really, really difficult for me because I know what he means to the club and what the club means to him but for us to move forward and for Alan to move forward it was the right decision.”