GLENAFTON full-back Craig McEwan has taken up the reins as Arthurlie boss because he wants to play a big part in the Barrhead club's revival rather than a bit part for the Ayrshire side.

More than a few eyebrows were raised when news broke of his decision to quit the Glens just a week before their Ardagh Glass Cup Final date with neighbours Auchinleck Talbot to gamble on being a success in what is his first managerial venture.

His appointment to the Dunterlie hotseat came as a belated birthday present for the former Raith Rovers and Dumbarton defender, as he turned 37 on Friday.

It was the culmination of a torrid seven days in which he found himself torn betwixt and between the two Super Premier Division outfits.

McEwan said: "I know only too well that Junior football management can be precarious at the best of times.

"But I'd been gearing myself up to give it my best shot when the right job came up.

"Gavin Duncan's recent resignation came out of the blue but I applied for the post and was invited to an interview with Arthurlie officials.

"My contractual obligations with Glenafton still needed to be honoured so I went along to training but I felt it was the right thing to keep Tommy Bryce informed.

"He was great and didn't beat about the bush in saying he regarded me as having only a limited part to play in his long-term plans.

"The prospect of sitting on the bench most weeks was not something I fancied.

"And my yearning for the Arthurlie post only intensified further when I was phoned on Friday night and asked to come to another meeting at Dunterlie on Sunday.

"I went to Glenafton's game against Shotts and was more than content to sit on the bench during our 6-0 victory.

"My one regret was that I could not possibly say any goodbyes to my team-mates or the supporters at that stage."

Southy was offered the managerial position at Arthurlie on Sunday night and he immediately accepted.

"It was nothing short of a dream come true," he said. "I cannot help but think this is exactly the right move for me at this stage in my career."

Southy revealed his former Glenafton colleagues Stevie Kerrigan and Craig Potter will be his backroom team.

He believes their vigour and footballing intelligence will quickly endear them to the Dunterlie dressing room.

He added: "Keggs is a great enthusiast whose training routines are always interesting. He and Pottsy are already champing at the bit to try to help Arthurlie's players get back to winning ways.

"If we fail it won't be for lack of effort as no stone will be left unturned in our bid to get the very best out of the quality players at this club.

"Our first game in charge will be a tough test away to a Clydebank side I came up against in this season's league opener as a Glens player.

"We won 2-1 at Holm Park and I'd bite your hand off to get a similar winning start as Arthurlie's manager."

McEwan, who picked up a loser's medal with Glens in last year's Junior Cup Final, saw Arthurlie paired in the second round with Dunbar United - who beat them 3-2 in the third round last season.

The new Lie boss admitted: "I know very little about Dunbar at this stage but I'll glean what I can about them from people at the club then have them watched.

"They will be afforded every respect coming here because my experience of the Scottish is there are no easy games.

"On the plus side, big Ryan Jordan is back running as he looks to recover from an ankle op. It will be a massive boost when he is back but the cup game against Dunbar might be too soon for him."

Elsewhere, Junior football's remaining representatives in the William Hill Scottish Cup were landed with formidable hurdles in yesterday's third round draw.

Hurlford United will host Stirling Albion while Linlithgow Rose will entertain Raith Rovers and Bo'ness United get set to hit the road North to face either Forres Mechanics or Elgin City.


(Kick-offs 2pm)

Stagecoach Super Premier: Beith v Troon, Clydebank v Arthurlie, Kilbirnie v Irvine Meadow, Petershill v Hurlford, Shotts v Cumnock.

Super First: Ardeer v Thorniewood, Cumbernauld v Yoker, Irvine Vics v Kilsyth, Largs v Rob Roy, Maybole v Greenock, Neilston v Shettleston, Rutherglen Glencairn v Pollok.

Central District First: Ashfield v Bellshill, Carluke v Larkhall, Lanark v Maryhill, Renfrew v Benburb, St Anthony's v Dunipace, Vale of Clyde v Blantyre Vics, Wishaw v Lesmahagow.

Central District Second: East Kilbride v Rossvale, Glasgow Perthshire v Cambuslang, Forth v St Roch's, Port Glasgow v Newmains, Vale of Leven v Royal Albert.

Ayrshire District: Dalry v Girvan, Darvel v Saltcoats, Kilwinning v Craigmark, Lugar v Annbank, Muirkirk v Kello, Whitletts v Ardrossan.