WHATEVER else lies ahead of him as Shettleston’s new manager, John Fallon deserves better than the aura of disquiet surrounding the start of his Greenfield Park tenure.

His interview for the post last Saturday coincided with him turning 35 years of age so the telephone call on Sunday to say he had been successful and “the job was his” must have felt like the best belated birthday present ever …but is it?

Taking up the reins of the current second-placed Super First Division outfit regarded as one of this season’s leading title contenders appears to be a dream opportunity on the face of it but having fully eight players depart the scene – Peter Weatherson et al – has left a cloud hanging over the famous old Glasgow club that might only clear away if the one time Motherwell, Bellshill Athletic and Linlithgow Rose midfielder can continue the Town’s perceived upward momentum.

Yet from this standpoint, a downturn in results is an almost inevitable consequence of squad numbers being reduced to an extent and Shettleston’s strong league position is likely to come under attack from a proverbial gang of promotion rivals.

Fallon whose previous managerial experience was with Newmains United and Thorniewood United (when just 29) is openly relishing the challenge and he has wasted no time in setting out his stall with the backroom appointments of a No.2 (his father John) and coach Scott Tart (older brother of Rossvale Juniors defender Steven) along with long-serving Town goalkeeping coach Stevie Hutchison.

He revealed: “ I had no choice but to walk away from Newmains almost two years ago to support my son Jonathan’s career prospects after was taken into Motherwell Youth Academy.

“He needs my input less and less nowadays so I have been keeping my eye in at Junior level through selectively taking in games and building dossiers on teams and players while waiting for a chance to get back into the game.

“I was unsuccessful in applying for the Neilston manager’s position last summer and recently lost out to Davie Greig when trying to get my foot in the door at Gartcairn but these rejections have only made me more determined and I did not hesitate to throw my name in the hat at Shettleston, a club with massive potential.

“Getting the job has given us a huge lift and there are difficult problems to be faced coming in the door, but my dad and I are not wet behind the ear youngsters and are under no illusions about what hurdles lie in wait for us .

“It’s a huge ask yet we are setting our sights high by aiming to get the club back into the Super Premier Division which is why our focus is on the players we have inherited rather than the loss of ones who opted to move elsewhere.”

A crying need to strengthen his playing hand has brought a recall to Greenfield Park for former players Brian McEwan and Paul Martin but further rebuilding moves are in the offing with Fallon admitting to approaches for several Senior players.

He added , “My dad and Scott were previously working at amateur level with Symington Tinto in the Caledonian League and the hope is to use their knowledge to identify signing targets and I have also contacted a number of Junior contacts over the availability of players whose names I’d prefer to keep under wraps .

“We entertain Yoker Athletic on Saturday and follow it up with Shotts Bon Accord coming through to Greenfield Park, but back-to-back home games is an advantage but also a handicap in so far as Shettleston will be expected to win .

“Cramming in two training sessions with the guys while still putting names to faces is far from ideal and I just wish we had another week of bedding in time.”

Fallon may not have disclosed the names of his signing targets but he is reckoned to have been on the trail of transfer listed Gartcairn striker Yami Misanjo even though he is alleged to have shaken hands on a move to Vale of Clyde .

Yet another front man whose signature is reputedly sought after is Queens Park’s powerful runner John Carter whose availability is thought to be attracting attention from Super Premier big guns Pollok, Rob Roy, Beith and Hurlford United.

Anything less than a victory over Yoker will almost certainly see Shettleston overhauled in the standings by Clydebank, who are tipped to get the better of league bottom markers Irvine Vics at Holm Park.

The only other Super First game is tougher to call with league leaders Kilsyth Rangers heading through to face an unpredictable Rutherglen Glencairn side that shared the spoils at Duncansfield when the teams drew 2-2 earlier this season..