ANDY GRAHAM says he is relishing the prospect of the new season as Alloa look to get back to the Championship.

The captain will be hoping the club can get back to where they belong at the second attempt after last season’s fifth placed finish.

Graham, as usual, had no hesitation in renewing his deal with the Wasps. He told Advertiser Sport: “Never been any different in all my time at Alloa. It’s always an easy decision for me, once I spoke to the manager and he said he wanted me to stay then that’s all I need to hear. It’s as simple as that, very, very easy negotiation.”

One difference this season will be a slight tweak to Graham’s role.

He continued: “I think it’s going to be a bit of coaching as well. Predominantly my role will be as a player and I’ll just see how much the coaching staff are wanting or needing me to do.

“I want to play. The manager knows that and the manager expects that but at the same time if there’s anything I can do to support the coaching staff then whatever’s asked of me I’ll be more than happy to do.”

Graham was part of the core group who signed on for the upcoming campaign.

He said: “It’s not even just the core, we’ve added to that as time’s went on. Young Cammy O’Donnell, who I think has got a lot to bring to the squad, has been there for a good few years now and hopefully he’ll get his opportunities this year and grow to be a valuable member of that first team which he is.

“You’ve got guys like Scougs [Stefan Scougall] who were added to the core group then we’ve got the likes of Kev [Cawley], Taggs [Scott Taggart] and I think that’s important at part-time.

“At part-time it’s like a merry-go-round at times, boys come and go but I think the fact that we’ve retained 13 or 14 that’s testament to the work that’s been done by the management team and I think that’s really key to have success at part-time.”

One name not on the books is Alan Trouten and Graham was full of praise for the man who made a big impact in his years with the club.

Graham said: “I’ll be honest, Alan’s one of the best players I’ve played with at part-time, if not the best player that hasn’t had the opportunity to go full time which I think is crazy. As his career’s went on he’s developed into probably the best number 10 you can get at part-time football.

“It’s just well documented the injuries he suffered this year. What I will say is he looks after himself really well and he was just unlucky.

“Trouts will be a great signing for whoever he goes to and it’s always sad when a player like that is leaving the club.”

One player who is joining the club is Ross MacIver, who impressed the club during his short loan at the end of last season.

“Ross did really well when he came in,” Graham continued. “I think he’ll admit himself he needs to play games of football.

“He needs to play every week and I chatted to him about that, just saying: ‘Look at the difference in you just playing every week’.

“You could see him growing and growing in confidence and you find that with younger players that maybe haven’t played a lot of games. When they do finally get that opportunity you just see them improving and improving. I think we’ll see an improvement in him this season. He’s got a lot of potential.”

Graham insists it’s going to be another tough campaign with a host of teams vying for those promotion places but he’s licking his lips at the thought of playing positive football under Brian Rice.

He said: “It's well documented that League One will probably be the most competitive league in Scotland next season. The teams that have come down in Dunfermline and Queen of the South, there’s Falkirk who will be looking to improve on what they did. You’re looking at probably four full time teams plus a big spender in Kelty that’s on the ascendency.

“It’s going to be a really tough league but at the same time it doesn’t hold any fears because we’ve proven before that we can compete with full time teams so that’s not something that phases us as a squad.

“The manager will never set us up to not go and win a game of football. I’m absolutely relishing it and really looking forward to it.

“That’s probably a big reason why 14 players signed up because they did enjoy the last couple of months of the season. We’ll always try and win games of football, regardless of who we’re up against.”