CAMMY O'DONNELL has just finished running a coaching session for Alloa's youth development.

The youngster joined the club at 18s and played a season with them before Jim Goodwin moved him into the first team.

He knows what it takes to make the step up and is now passing on the wisdom to the young Wasps.

"They enjoy it," he told Advertiser Sport. "They all get pretty excited to see me so it's good fun."

O'Donnell loves coaching with the younger players, but his career is also benefitting. As training takes place the Indodrill Stadium, once he's finished with the youngsters, he has the stadium, the pitches and the gym to himself.

That attitude, the desire to continually better himself, is hardly surprising.

After the whistle blew on Alloa's last game of the season, the 1-0 victory against Dunfermline, at around 9.45pm, one player was still on the pitch. It was O'Donnell. As reporters waited patiently for the players and managers to attend the post-match interviews, O'Donnell dropped a bag of balls at the edge of the box.

There's maybe 10 balls in the bag, give or take. He emptied the bag, and repeatedly tried the same move. One touch onto his left foot and then a strike. 10 balls, 10 shots. Then he'd collect them all, and go again. Another 10, then collect. Then, another 10.

He said: "After every session or just when I've got some time on my own on the astroturf, that's the shot I'm looking for, just cutting in off the right and looking for that far corner.

"I want to add more goals to my game. This season I'm hoping to get out on the right, get that cut in and shoot. I've been working on it constantly."

Despite saying confidence is the one thing he struggles with, O'Donnell seems more than aware of his own ability and is backing himself to make a bigger impact on the team this season.

"I came back to pre-season last year and I felt so good. I was flying," he said. "Then it came to the first couple of games and I never played.

"I got a few minutes in the Betfred which wasn't really what I was wanting, as I came back and done so well.

"I kept doing well and kept doing well and eventually your head goes down [as] you're not getting in the team.

"You feel like you can make an impact on the game, so my head did go down.

"Then, it was the Inverness game where Trouts [Alan Trouten] got injured in the warm-up and I got a start. It was a bit nerve-wracking getting that call but I felt ready.

"I just felt I never got the run of games I needed in the team."

The youngster continued: "I felt in myself, last pre-season for the first time, that I was ready to play in the Championship.

"Me and Andy [Graham] just had a talk – he told me to get myself as fit as I can, get strong, get in the gym, come back and, hopefully, I can get the games that I want to play and show what I can do."

Despite not getting as much game time as he would have liked, O'Donnell still made his mark with his first goal and a place in the SPFL Team of the Week.

He continued: "We ended up getting beat; they scored two late goals. But to get my first goal...I was so happy, a volley as well."

From the age of seven until 15, O'Donnell played left-back for Hibernian.

He said: "I don't mind defending but when I'm coaching the wee kids, I'm coaching them on finishing, getting on the half-turn and scanning, checking their shoulder, things like that.

"I enjoyed when I did play; I was delighted with [getting in] the Team of the Week and my goal. For me personally, I just wish I played more on the basis I felt I was training well and could have helped the team if I played or even if I came on as a sub for more games.

"I felt there were games I could have came on and had an impact in certain areas."

Unfortunately, the club were relegated and their status as a Championship club came to an end.

O'Donnell continued: "It was a hard season. Because of Covid, we weren't in the same dressing room. Obviously Iain Flannigan retired and a couple of boys had left and some new boys had come in, so it was hard to get a real, proper team feeling this year.

"There was five changing rooms we were all in [and] it's hard to fit into the team when you're not in that changing room environment, that was tough for us.

"The team spirit wasn't what it was this season compared to last season. There was much more togetherness last season.

"You can't get any days out; when everyone signs there's normally a wee day out, go for a meal together. Then you're in the same changing room, it brings that team spirit out. Obviously it just didn't happen this season."

O'Donnell added: "I love the changing room environment. I'm one of the youngest so I get a proper slagging off from everyone, but it's funny – it makes you feel like you're part of the team; you feel like the older boys like you. I definitely missed that.

"I used to travel with Buchs [Liam Buchanan], Scougs [Stefan Scougall] and Innes Murray. What a car that was. So funny."

With Buchanan signing with Cowdenbeath, O'Donnell added: "It's sad to see him go, he's like my dad at the club. He looked after me.

"I won't miss babysitting though. Before a game he'd get me to come around an hour early so I could help him babysit."

Despite the relegation, O'Donnell says the club is excited at the prospect of another promotion charge, and hopes he can be a real part of it.

"I think the boys are all excited for next season to try and get us back up," he said. "We're going to have a good team next season and, hopefully, we can all get back in the same changing room and everyone can get back to normal.

"I'm hoping that it'll be a good season next season. For me I'm just going to come back as strong and as fit as I can and get myself in the team and, hopefully, the new gaffer takes to me and trusts me to play.

"I'm backing myself to get in the team; I feel there's a gap in the team for me to make an impact. I think the boys are confident I can go and make a difference so that's what I'm hoping to do."