SCOTT SMITH today revealed he will quit as Petershill co- manager at the end of the season.

Willie Patterson's side-kick is walking away from the Junior scene to concentrate on the budding career of his son Sam.

The proud father told SportTimes he felt the time was right to lift the lid on his plans ahead of the famous Springburn club's final home league game against Hurlford United this afternoon - which could prove to be his last-ever appearance at New Petershill Park.

But he is urging his players to avoid that scenario through surviving their trip to meet New Coin Holdings West of Scotland Cup last-16 opponents Cumbernauld and thus earn a quarter-final tie at home against Cumnock or Hurlford.

Smith said: "I had designs on calling it a day at the end of last season, but agreed to stay on with Willie as we felt this team we had built was capable of going one step better following two consecutive years as Super Premier runners-up.

"And yet another over-riding factor was the fact it didn't sit comfortably with me to be bombing out on a lot of players I helped persuade to sign two-year deals. So I stayed put but, unfortunately, the season has not gone the way we planned in terms of challenging for the big prizes, and my sights now are primarily set on helping Petershill avoid relegation.

"A lot of pundits are already declaring us safe from the drop, but I won't be breathing any sighs of relief as long as it is arithmetically possible for us to go down.

"Ashfield were supposed to be in a similar, safe position to us with points in the bag last term, and we all know what happened to them."

He added: "With my obligations to helping run Sam's team, I just cannot give the same level of commitment to Petershill as before or, indeed, to Willie, who is more than capable of taking the club to the next level."

The rugged and combative ex-stopper first made his mark in the Juniors as a striker at Yoker 25 years ago, before then going on to play with Rutherglen Glencairn, Bellshill, Maryhill, Shotts, Rob Roy and the Glens again before injury cut his playing days short and led to him moving into management at the Clyde Gateway Stadium prior to taking up the Springburn helm four seasons ago.

He added: "The good times undoubtedly outweigh the bad and I've made a lot of friends down the years, although it saddens me to think I've lost some of them for no other reason than wanting to do well for my various clubs.

"I've also had more than my fair share of dust-ups with referees, but mainly because they insist on dealing with managers and coaches in a different manner to players."

Looking back on his Petershill tenure, he insisted: "Nobody ever remembers who came second, but the football we played in twice finishing runners-up was a sheer delight at times, with the talents of Paul Woods and Richie Burke shining bright abetted by the dependable types of Ross McCabe and Craig Palmer, who, to this day, is as good a left-back as you will find in the Super Premier Division.

"Willie and I had a horrendous first season here, but then turned it around to pick up our one and only silverware triumph just 14 months after taking charge.

"My big regret is not winning more trophies, but I'm keeping fingers crossed that the lads have it in them to give me the ideal silver memento as a leaving present in the shape of the West of Scotland Cup."

"Firstly, though, we have to focus on making ourselves safe from relegation and that means taking something from today's game against the best side we have faced all season in Hurlford United, whose run to the Scottish Cup semi-finals has not surprised me and I strongly fancy them to go on and win that trophy.

"In fact, but for a rash of postponements leaving them a fixture backlog, Hurlford might well have gone toe-to-toe with Auchinleck for the title, so we could not have landed it tougher in our last home game."