Paul Hartley delighted about Alloa Athletic move

Paul Hartley last night thanked Alloa Athletic for giving him his first chance in management after he was appointed player-manager at Recreation Park following a whirlwind 24 hours.

The Wasps, relegated to the Third Division after losing the play-off semi-final to Annan Athletic, have pulled off a stunning coup by landing Hartley.

The former Scotland, Celtic and Hearts midfielder announced last week he was hanging up his boots after an injury-troubled season at Aberdeen and was looking to move into management after studying for his coaching qualifications.

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He immediately secured the Alloa post, succeeding Allan Maitland and Hartley, 34, who won 25 caps in an illustrious playing career, says the prospect of rebuilding a team at Alloa fills him with the same excitement.

Hartley said: "I can't wait to get started. The club have been relegated, but it doesn't bother me. I want to try and cut my teeth somewhere. It's a great little set-up here, the chairman is ambitious and I'm ambitious."

Hartley, who won Scottish Cup winner's medals with Hearts and Celtic, as well as two SPL titles and a League Cup with the latter and also turned out for Hibs, Hamilton, St Johnstone and Bristol City, could go back on his decision to quit playing.

He said: "Our main aim is to try and get promoted. It's going to be a lot of hard work and we need everybody in it together."

Regarding playing, he added: "We'll wait and see."

Chairman Mike Mulraney said: "I would hope this is a boost for the fans. It's certainly a reflection of the fact we want to get back to the Second Division as quickly as possible."