BARRY FERGUSON has joked that he'd done so much homework ahead of starting his new job that he could have been heading for a divorce.

But the new man in charge of Kelty Hearts is determined that pouring over videos of his squad at home will pay off and pave the way for a happy marriage at New Central Park.

The former Rangers and Scotland star took charge of his first game since being appointed as Thomas Courts' successor with the Lowland League leaders on Saturday against Gala Fairydean and, after admitting that he was "taken aback" by the club's potential, he said it didn't take long to say yes to their managerial offer.

Ferguson had been out of work since leaving his post at Clyde last February but, in an in-depth interview with Press Sport following his first week in the role, he believes Kelty is the "right job at the right time" – and is enthused by both their potential, and ambition, to reach the SPFL.

"As soon as I walked through the gates, saw the facility and spoke with the chairman, the general manager and the committee, I had a real good feeling about the club, the way it was run and their ambitions," he explained.

"I had a few things going on myself regarding media stuff and whatever, so they were good enough to give me the time to go and sort that out, so it was four or five days before we eventually got everything sorted and got it over the line.

"I'm just excited to get started. I took the guys for the first time last Tuesday night and it was a real good session. The place was bubbly, the players were excellent in training and their attitude was first class, and one of the reasons why I took the job is because I've got a real good group of players here that are desperate to learn and desperate to work hard. It was an easy decision for me.

"I've watched countless videos of them, and I think I might be getting divorced soon, I've watched that much football! But I had to have a good look at them and I'm excited to work with this group. Hopefully, we can go on a successful journey together.

"I've had various opportunities to go back in but they just weren't right for me. To be honest, I was happy doing my media stuff and was happy to take a break, but when that break goes on, you go to games and you miss the contact with the players.

"When I spoke to the club, as soon as I walked through here, I thought, 'Do you know what, this is right for me'. I had heard what was going on through here, being a football guy, and when you see what Kelty's done over the last four or five years in terms of what they've done to the stadium, and what they've done on the pitch, that's what excited me.

"I feel it's a group of players who can go on again, and I saw last Tuesday night their enthusiasm and will to go and work hard and take things on board, which was great for me and the coaching staff.

"They've given me my buzz back."

Under previous boss Courts, who lifted two East Region Super League titles before they moved to, and won, the East of Scotland League last season, Kelty adjusted so well to life in the fifth tier of the Scottish football pyramid that they sat proudly at the summit when he left prior to Ferguson's arrival.

Having lifted 15 major honours as a player at Ibrox, it's little wonder the 40-year-old describes himself as "a winner", and he believes he has inherited a team that are capable of the same.

"I think I've got a lot of quality in the squad and there's a lot of competition as well," he continued.

"I want them to go out, certainly at home, and have a go at teams. We've got good quality to hurt teams and I want them to have the freedom to go and do that.

"I'm not going to come in here and change a lot; there's maybe one or two things I've seen in games, but that's what drew me as well to the club, a group of players that have got a lot of ability. I think they could do even better, and that's credit to them.

"I'm a winner. That's the way I got brought up and, when I look at that group of players, a lot of them have tasted winning trophies and medals. As a footballer, or as a manager, there's no better feeling than that.

"I'm not going to sit here and say I'm happy to finish fourth or third or whatever; we're going to try and do our best, and that's to win a championship.

"Whether we do that or not, we'll just need to wait until the end of the season, but it'll not be for the lack of trying.

"It's going to take a bit of time to put forward my own couple of ideas but I'm looking forward to it. It's a great challenge and a great club to be at.

"They're hungry players, and I'm a hungry manager, so I think it's a good marriage for me."