GARY McMenamin says he has not let his heart rule his head in taking up a player/assistant manager role with Rossvale Juniors.

The former Rob Roy and Cumnock midfielder was widely tipped to land himself another top-flight club after a falling-out with his Kirkintilloch gaffer Stewart Maxwell towards the end of last season – then never kicked a ball again for the Rabs following the shock 2-0 defeat by Wishaw in the Scottish Junior Cup last eight.

Instead he seen out the last 10 weeks of the season working out alongside Rossvale players and throwing in a few pearls of wisdom from his own experiences as the Bishopbriggs-based outfit stormed their way towards the Central First Division title.

And he was therefore primed and ready to put pen to paper when the opportunity arose to come on board as part of Vale boss Gordon Moffat’s backroom team.

Gary has been close friends with Moff for close on two decades and the 34-year-old counts himself “very privileged” to team up with him, fellow assistant boss Drew Marshall and player/coach Kirk Forbes as Rossvale gear up for making a few waves in the new Super First Division set-up.

Gaz said: “I’m incredibly fortunate to make my first steps into the coaching side of football among these guys and I thoroughly enjoyed our first pre-season double-session last Saturday, but my focus is still on the playing side of things and I have first and foremost joined Rossvale because I have ambitions to try and win trophies.

“And having watched the players at close quarters in their run-in last season, I honestly believe there are the foundations of a team here capable of making a name for themselves at higher league level.

“There is a perceived lack of experience with only myself, Kirk and the evergreen Gary McGrath on the wrong side of 30; however, that is more than compensated for by the emerging young talents at this club with Liam McGonigle and Gary Giffin in particular standing out in my opinion as players who have it in them to play at Senior level.

“Moff has also strengthened his squad by bringing in Andy Johnstone from Rob Roy as well as another ex- Rabs signing Craig Buchanan who has been on the Junior roundabout in recent seasons moving from club to club and badly needs to lay down roots to get back to his best.

“He will get that chance here as will Andy and both are relatively young but have experience of playing in the Super Premier Division so I’ve no doubt they will make their mark.”

“Rossvale are shaping up as one of the sides hoping to be challenging for the title and that’s how it should be as far as I’m concerned.”

Gary went on to reveal how he had buried the hatchet with former Rob Roy gaffer Stewart Maxwell.

He said: “I shared so many good times with the people at Rob Roy and with Maxi that I couldn’t leave things as they stood.

“His decision to drop me, his team captain, to the bench for the Scottish Cup quarter-final against Wishaw was a bitter disappointment to me and more so because of the result.

“And his leaving me out of his starting team the following weekend against Irvine Vics was the final straw and I ‘m not proud to say I threw the toys out of the pram and stormed off into the sunset .

“I ‘m man enough to admit I was wrong and I made the point of speaking to Maxi to wish him all the best so we are back on good terms.

“I will forever look for Rob Roy’s result at weekends but Rossvale are now my club and they have my loyalties and total commitment going forward."

Word of the early season Sectional League Cup fixtures has Rossvale pitted against Shettleston , Maryhill and Pollok in their opening three games and McMenamin says he cannot wait for a return to Newlandsfield.

With tongue firmly planted in cheek, he said: “I thought my days of playing against Pollok were over so a trip back there is something I will relish because their supporters always give me the warmest of welcomes!”