LARGS Thistle coach Andy Scott has made the successful transition from top amateur striker to respected coach within the inner ranks at Barrfields - and he insists the number one aim of the coaching staff is to chase silverware this season.

The 36-year-old has swapped sharp shooting on the pitch to verbal volleys from the sidelines as he cajoles and encourages the forward line.

And he admits his own rise up the ranks sometimes makes him pinch himself.

Scott first became involved behind the scenes four years ago after Stuart Davidson took full charge in the Barrfields hotseat.

He was asked to stay behind to help with coaching after watching him training the youngsters.

He has featured for both Morton and Stenhousemuir in his early days before being a real goal-getter for Largs United and West Kilbride amateur sides.

He even showed off his skills in a charity match two seasons ago with a host of legends, including Thistle boss Davidson, notching a spectacular hat-trick.

He said: "I got involved in the coaching side of things when Stuart Davidson took over at Largs, and Kevin Struthers was assistant boss, and they were looking for another couple of backroom staff. They added Liam McVey who was one of the best left backs in junior football and he deals with the defenders at training while I take the attackers.

"Arnie and Martin Crawford keep an eye on everything!

"Arnie and Liam have that winning mentality from Auchinleck Talbot which rubs off on everyone.

"Our overall aim is to bring a trophy back to Largs - we have got close the last few seasons after two cup finals. The squad has been boosted with some top quality signings, including Keir Milliken, and you can see in training how good the standard is."

Scott had a lot of praise for top scorer of recent seasons Scott Adam, and said: "A lot of people just see the goals and under estimate Addy - he brings a lot more to the match as his link-up play and bringing others into the game is so important.

"I have played up front at various levels in football - and his finishing is just phenomenal.

"I have also been working closely with William Sewell on his touch and hold play and he is a really exciting talent." Scott started at Largs Colts and went on to play for the Morton youth team, playing in the same side as Line of Duty star Martin Compston, before going to play for Stenhousemuir for around two years, then joining Irvine Meadow Under-21s at the age of 18.

Scott's predatory instincts in the penalty box saw him regularly on the goal sheet and has happy memories of some of the great amateur sides in the local area.

He said: "We had quite a successful team at Largs United with Douglas Colville and the late Billy Hibberd in charge.

"Billy was a very knowledgeable football man and Dougie was more laid back and calm. We got to the final of the James Scott Trophy and lost out in extra-time.

"We then had John Auld, who was an ex-Thistle player, and Damian Glancy, in charge and both were great to work with.

"I got to play up front with Thistle legend Stephen Quigg - he was a good age then but he had a brilliant football brain and you could see how clever he was as a player. He was always talking to the young lads and giving him the benefit of his experience.

"It reminded me of Mark Millar when he came to join Largs Thistle - he was a cut above everyone else having played against top teams, and was fascinating to listen to."

Scott says the most famous player he ever played against was Rangers, Kilmarnock and Scotland striker Kris Boyd.

He said: "It was a long time ago, we are going back to when I was 13 or 14, and I was playing for Largs Colts, and he was up front for Crosshouse. You could see his talent a mile away and was lethal up front - you could see then how much better he was than everyone else, and he was destined for bigger things."

Since joining as coach, Scott has been behind the scenes during some remarkable highs and lows as Thistle.

The cup final was a disappointment, going down to Auchinleck, and the Thistle coach said he still hasn't brought himself to watch the match again despite having it still recorded on his Sky Q box.

But Scott insists that getting so close is spurring him on to get over the finishing line and bringing trophies back to Largs.

He said: "It is very exciting - there is something bubbling at Barrfields just now.

"All the coaching team and the players are on the same page.

"We have added to the side with some key signings, including Corey Hughes who is very familiar with the Premier League with Kilbirnie, Keir Milliken, who again has that winning mentality from Auchinleck and Beith, and the experienced and crafty Graham Muir who is still fit as a fiddle."

It is still very much keeping it in the family for Scott as his father Derek is the kit man for both the Largs Thistle full team and under-20 development side and mum Joyce is part of the canteen team.

Meanwhile son Ryan is the Covid-19 officer at the club checking the players' temperatures before training and ensuring that all social distancing and requirements are followed to the letter of the law.