Barry Ferguson has revealed that he decided to quit Kelty Hearts in March.
The former Rangers and Scotland captain made history by leading the ambitious Fifers to League 2 in Sunday, defeating Brechin City in the pyramid playoff final.
However, Ferguson informed the club’s committee of his intention to step down mere hours after that success, and subsequently agreed to become the new Alloa boss in the following days.
He was unveiled by the Wasps on Thursday.
Ferguson told the Go Radio Football Show: “I didn’t want to say too much, but I had made my decision in March that, no matter what happened — staying in the Lowland League or getting promoted — it was time for a new challenge.
“So, I was just fully focused on doing the best job possible for Kelty and then I informed the club on Sunday night.
“It was a tough chat we had, no doubt about that. But they totally understood and took it as men.
“Alloa made contact with Kelty officially on Monday and I was given permission to speak to them, and the deal was struck.”
He added: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s a big challenge. They were relegated [from the Championship] last season and I’ll need to pick the spirits up. However, there’s a good, core group there and if I can add quality to that, then we’ll give it a good shot.”
— Ewan Smith (@ewansmithpr) May 23, 2021
Ferguson, meanwhile, believes Kelty struck a blow for the entire Scottish football pyramid by winning promotion to the SPFL, having fought tooth and nail to ensure the playoffs would take place.
He added: “It was great for Kelty to win promotion but it was even bigger for the pyramid system. When that was created in 2015, I thought it was great for Scottish football — but Kelty were denied that opportunity last year.
“So, it was great to have the chance to participate in the playoff games and actually get through.
“It was a terrific Sunday and I was delighted for the club and, most importantly, the players.”