New Clydebank assistant boss Sean Higgins has revealed he is loving the responsibility of balancing his new role at the club while still playing a pivotal role in the their incredible season.

Initially signing as a player/coach back in June last year after a spell at Albion Rovers, Higgins has gone on to help the Bankies climb the West Premiership table with a number of impressive displays in Kieran McAnespie’s starting XI.

With their mix of attacking play and lethal strikers under McAnespie and former assistant manager Marc McCulloch, Clydebank currently sit second in the table behind Hurlford United.

McCulloch was forced to leave the role at the end of December after being unable to commit due to work with Higgins confirmed as McAnespie’s number two at the beginning of this month with the 34-year-old also continuing as a player as Bankies strolled to a 3-0 win away to Petershill before routing Kilwinning Rangers 5-0 at Lochburn Park.

And while Higgins has enjoyed settling into his new role and the impressive start, he admits he was surprised to be given the chance.

“It’s been really good,” Higgins told the Post. “I’ve enjoyed my first couple of weeks in the role. The boys have all been great and the club have welcomed me since day one when I came in as a player/coach last summer, but I didn’t expect this to happen so soon.

Clydebank Post: Higgins in action against Johnstone Burgh shortly after signing for BankiesHiggins in action against Johnstone Burgh shortly after signing for Bankies

“In fact, I didn’t even expect it to happen at all to be honest. Circumstances with Marc moving on allowed me to get this chance.

“Marc is a great lad and a great coach so it was sad to see him go but at the same time we had to move on and Kieran felt that he saw enough in me and my coaching ability that it would be an easy transition and handed me the opportunity.

“Marc has been here for a wee while now so he was more experienced than I am. It will take a bit of time for me to find my feet and I’m still playing as well so I’m just trying to find a balance right now.

“I’m enjoying it all, though. The club have been great and are happy for me to keep playing while the legs allow it.

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“We have started well this year so far with two wins and two clean sheets and one loss since I’ve been in the role. That’s all down to the boys having the right mentality and playing well to dig out results.”

Higgins is adamant that, at 34, he is still young enough to make an impact for the side but admits he does have one eye on a managerial career once he does decide to hang up his boots.

Starting his career with Ross County 17 years ago in 2002, the forward has plenty of experience on the field having turned out for a number of clubs including Dundee and St Johnstone.

The assistant manager role under McAnespie signals Higgins’ first foray into the management side of the game and the veteran is keen to take his time before jumping into a full-time managerial role.

“Management is something I’d consider when I do eventually retire,” Higgins said. “That won’t be any time soon as I’m still enjoying my football. I’m only 34 so I want to keep playing for the fitness side of it. If something comes up that I’m attracted to then I’ll look at it.

“This role with Clydebank has given me a good platform to see what things will be like in management such as setting up training and man-management while still playing. It’s good that I’ve got that balance which will allow me to find out what kind of coach I want to be while still enjoying the playing side.

“I’m really looking forward to having an input and taking more of a role in the training, growing my confidence in how I speak to the players and managing a lot of different personalities. It is a challenge but it’s one I’m definitely looking forward to and grateful to have.

“I’m in no rush at all to retire though. I have my UEFA B license and I’m hoping to do my A license this summer so once I get that then things will start rolling.”

With the merger of his playing career and his managerial ambitions, Higgins is adamant that the new role won’t be a conflict of interest when it comes to his place in the starting XI.

He added: “Being assistant manager doesn’t mean I’m guaranteed a spot in the starting XI. I know that if I’m not playing well enough to keep the team winning then there are other boys who can step in right away.

“My pre-match routine for the last few matches hasn’t changed either. I do go through tactics and that side of things with Kieran now but if I know I’m playing from the start then I just focus on playing well. It hasn’t been in the back of my mind in the last few games that I’m assistant boss, not at all. I’m a bossy player as it is, I don’t need to be assistant manager to be demanding.

“The management side won’t change anything with that. Anyone who knows me knows I demand a lot as a teammate.”