ALLOA strengthened their squad at the end of August with three new faces joining Luke Rankin in the first team.

Luke Donnelly, David Devine and Kieran Offord all joined the club as the transfer window came to a close while Rankin, less than a week after scoring his first senior goal, signed a professional contract with the club.

Donnelly joins the club for the second time after his spell at Arbroath came to an end.

Speaking exclusively to Advertiser Sport, Brian Rice outlined exactly why he brought each player in.

"Luke Donnelly’s a different type to what we’ve got," he said. "He can really look after the ball, he can link the play really well. He’s a physical presence, he can score goals. He’s just a good football player. I just felt he gave us something a wee bit different up top. The rest are a wee bit more physical, he’s one that you can play the ball into and go feed off of that."

On Devine, who has joined for a season long loan from Motherwell, Rice said: "I brought David in to play. Mark Durnan is joining the fire brigade so he’ll be away, he’ll not be available for quite a few weeks plus he’s got an injury. Craig Howie’s just coming back from an operation.

"We were a bit light in there. I’ve seen David for a few years at Motherwell coming through the ranks and he’s been a wee bit unfortunate with injuries but he’s back fully fit, he’s raring to go and it’s an opportunity. Hopefully he gets in the team and hopefully he performs well."

Offord wasted no time in making his mark, scoring two goals as Alloa defeated Clyde 4-2 on Saturday.

The striker will spend the season on loan from St Mirren; however, his parent club have the option to recall him in January.

Rice continued: "I knew what I was getting from Kieren, I’ve seen a fair bit of him. I’ve been trying to get him in all summer, he’s the one I’ve been trying to get. He’s 18 years old, coming up 19 but he’s got the physical attributes of a 23-year-old. He’s done really well at St Mirren, he’s played a few games and been on the bench. He’s a goalscorer, he got a dozen goals for East Stirling.

"I know what I’m getting. I know he’s a goalscorer, I know he works hard. Age isn’t a barrier for me, I think if they’re good enough they should play and he adds competition up there."

Rankin's story is only just beginning with the 17-year-old scoring on his debut against Peterhead last month.

On the youngster's signature, Rice said: "It’s great for everybody. Clubs like ours, we need to use players coming through. I’ve got to provide that pathway for them but they’ve got to be good enough.

"Luke’s got potential, that’s what it is at this stage. A lot of work to be done on my behalf, my coaches’ behalf but a lot of work to be done by him as well.

"It’s really, really important that we get the kids pushing through. We can’t get every kid through, we know that but we need to try and get some through and it’s great for the supporters to see young ones coming through and it’s great for me.

"I like the young ones coming through. I’ve said it a million times; someone had to take a chance on me at 16/17 years old and someone did.

"It’s my responsibility to give kids chances but they’ve got to be good enough."