It’s one thing looking up to acclaimed Auchinleck Talbot boss Tommy Sloan but another to actually get the better of him. But that hasn’t stopped several his former playing charges queuing up to have a go.

Further comparisons with arguably the most successful Junior gaffer of all time – he’s overseen seven Scottish Cup wins to date – are nigh-on inevitable following this week’s appointment of Colin Spence and James Latta as Irvine Meadow’s management team.

The much-feted duo, put in interim charge of affairs following the shock resignation of erstwhile manager Brian McGinty, enthusiastically agreed to take up the Ayrshire club’s offer of the posts on a permanent basis and almost immediately brought on board ex-Bot team-mate David Gillies as Medda’s new coach.

And this latest trio of appointments brings the number of Premiership dugout participants hoping to show the “Tucker Touch” has rubbed off on them to eight strong following the roles gained by Bryan Young and Del McCulloch (Beith), Stuart Davidson and Liam McVey (Largs Thistle) and David Gormley (Rossvale).

Former Junior Scotland internationalist Spenny said: “There’s definitely a factor but I couldn’t even begin to put my finger on why so many of us who played together under Tucker are moving into management. Maybe it’s because he made it look so easy?

“All kidding aside, James and I are now in our mid-30’s and thoughts of calling it a day on the playing side of things at the end of this season had certainly crossed my mind, not least because I just don’t feel as if I’m influencing games the way I did.

“James has been one of Medda’s best performers but is also aware he’s coming to the end of his career, so being offered the opportunity for the two of us to stay in the game at one of the biggest clubs in the Junior game was too good an opportunity to turn down.

“If we had then you can bet a queue would have quickly formed of ex-players wanting to land the job.”

However, co-manager Latta does not believe there are many positive parallels with their Auchinleck mentor’s lot.

He said: “Tucker doesn’t have a magic wand but he instils standards and good habits from which come a winning mentality, so both Spenny and I hope to do the same with our ideas and approach to management.

“But where there is a huge difference is in the respective playing squad strengths as Tucker is able to carry 21 or 22 of the best players in the Juniors. And I’m talking here of guys who would walk into any other Premiership side yet appear content to sit on Talbot’s bench and only get the odd starting jersey.

“It’s a dream situation that allows Tucker to chop and change without ever weakening his line-up and that’s completely alien to all their challengers – Medda included –where injuries and suspensions bring major headaches.”

The 34-year-old added: “We quite rightly had high hopes this season but early and long-term injuries to Adam Forsyth, Rhys Devlin and Ben Carson have crippled the team and we’ve never recovered from their loss.

“The first job for Spenny and myself is to get out there and attract hungry young players to Meadow Park while at the same time developing and getting the best out of our current squad, just as Gormz [David Gormley]has achieved at Rossvale.

“And replacing our own two selves is another must, though it may have to wait until our rebuild gets fully underway. We cannot afford our playing numbers to drop off anymore, particularly the experienced heads and talkers in the team.”