David Greig may be in no desperate hurry to return from his self-imposed sabbatical, but on the eve of an array of inaugural 2018/19 Macron Scottish Junior Cup ties throughout the West Region, he does admit to wishing he was involved.

The fact he isn’t is down to football taking a back seat after he raised more than a few eyebrows at the end of last season when he resigned his post at Gartcairn after they secured promotion.

Only close friends and family were aware that the former Irvine Meadow, Blantyre Vics and St Rochs manager was planning to take time away from the game to support his 19-year-old daughter Caitlin as she underwent life-saving surgery, which has proved successful.

Greig, who steered Gartcairn to the 2016/17 quarter-finals when they were still in the Central Second Division, said: “The playing of the first Scottish Junior Cup ties when shock results are often thrown up has always been one of the best weekends of the Junior season for me.

“I just love the build-up and the sense of excitement you get from players on the day itself. However, all that has to go on the back burner as I’m on hospital visiting duties with my wife Cathy.”

Does he envisage any cup shocks?

“If I was going to a game then the big attraction is the Keppoch Park head-to-head of Glasgow Perthshire and one of my former teams St Rochs which promises to be a ding dong of a game.

“I watched the teams play at the end of last season and the Shire ran out convincing 3-0 winners but Billy Adams has not found it easy to replace players like Jordan Currie-McLean who joined Rob Roy and they are not just as strong as they were back then.

“The Candy’s form has been a bit up and down but Andy Cameron has recently signed a live wire of a player in Eddie Ferns and his energy and ability will give them a huge lift and may just tilt the balance in their favour.

“Anyone looking for an upset could do worse than take in another of my old clubs, Gartcairn, when they take on Kilbirnie Ladeside in a tie which has been switched to Ayrshire because Gartcairn’s dressing rooms have been adjudged by the powers that be to be situated ‘too far away from the pitch’.

“Don’t get me started on that one …but even though they have lost home advantage, Jamie McKenzie has put together a Gartcairn side that are difficult to break down so Kilbirnie will know they’ve been in a game and will need to be at their best to get through.”

The friends he made during his stint in charge of Irvine Meadow will be pleased to hear Greig does not consider St Anthonys (a club for whom he played) capable of a giant-killing act at McKenna Park.

“The Ants will not be overawed at facing the Medda but Brian McGinty’s side have too much firepower even though their Championship league form has been very disappointing." he said.

“Gints will welcome the respite from chasing points and will look for a good performance from his players to get their season back on track.”

The last of the quartet of clubs he managed, Blantyre Vics, go up against near neighbours Vale of Clyde at Castle Park and Greig believes the Vics will prevail.

"The tie is as close to a derby as you’ll get but I just see the Vics having too much going for them to lose this one," he said.

“Vale boss Mark McKay is still getting to grips with managing at Junior level and now he finds himself in at the deep end and needing to show he can swim but that’s not easy to do in a Scottish Cup game.

“By comparison, Blantyre and John Gibson have been a good fit for each other and I fancy them to win by a couple of goals.”