GEORGE STANGER is loving his time at Alloa and says he's excited to see what the team can achieve this season.

The 21-year-old joined the club and reunited with Brian Rice. He has been involved with every pre-season friendly so far but his signing was only officially confirmed last week.

Stanger, speaking exclusively to Advertiser Sport, said: "I'm loving every minute of it since I've came through the door.

"Obviously I've worked with the gaffer before so I had a rough idea of what the environment was going to be like and he spoke very highly of the club and the lads and everyone's been very welcoming.

"We've had a lot of games but for me that's the most important thing, it's the most enjoyable part of football. I've managed to be involved in a lot of it so far so I've loved every minute."

Stanger spent last season with Dumbarton but was keen to join Alloa as soon as he heard Rice was interested in a reunion.

He continued: "We've always kept in touch. I think it was when the [last] season was done he started asking what I was doing for the season.

"As soon as I knew he was interested and the club were interested then it was something that really appealed to me. I've worked with the gaffer before, I know what he's all about and what he wants.

"He really sold the club to me and spoke very highly of it.

"For me the key thing is I want to play games, I want to play football and I think this is a really good place for me to do that. We've got a really good squad and I'm really excited to get into the competitive stuff and get going."

Alloa played their last friendly against Raith Rovers on Saturday and the competitive season officially begins against East Fife tomorrow night (Tuesday).

Reflecting on pre-season, Stanger said: "I think most people you ask in football will say the same, the best way to get the match fitness is by playing games and we've been Tuesday-Saturday for about three weeks now so we have had a lot of games.

"I think you maybe feel a bit leggy but that's what these games are for. Playing games is the most enjoyable part of football."

In today's game defenders are required to do much more than just defend and Stanger says that was another factor in wanting to link up with Rice again.

He said: "I've worked with him before and he very much wants us to go into every game looking to win and a big part of that is telling defenders to be brave on the ball and for me personally it's what I've wanted to do throughout my career.

"As a defender defending is the most important part of your game but also having that quality on the ball to [be able to] start to build things is becoming, especially in the modern game, more and more important. It's what he wants from us and most defenders these days enjoy that side of it so I definitely think the type of football the gaffer wants to play is another reason why I wanted to join.

"I'm really excited for the season."

Stanger won't be short of experienced heads to lean on, with a strong core of Alloa players there to support the younger members of the squad.

He said: "All these experienced guys are good at helping us in different ways so it's been good so far.

"It's important in football to have a good mix of both. There's a good number of boys who have been here for a number of years and are very experienced players and for us young boys it's good for us to be around them and see and learn from these guys.

"I'm always wanting to learn wherever I am and I think this is a good place with the gaffer, the coaching staff and all the players."

Rice has made several additions to the squad including Seff Khyyam, Murray Miller and goalkeepers Jay Hogarth and Willie Muir, with Stanger looking forward to what he hopes will be a successful season.

He said: "The boys are feeling ready and we're all raring to go.

"It's great playing friendly matches but nothing beats the competitive stuff and I think we're all really excited to get into that.

"There's a lot of quality in our squad, we're working well together. We'll take each game as it comes but we've all got belief in the squad.

"We'll go into every game looking to win and we'll see where it takes us.

"Personally I'm really excited to see what we can get done this season."