JIM JEFFERIES insists that he's rooting for the Pars to win promotion – but won't be backing them for victory this weekend.

The 68-year-old, who spent more than two years in charge at East End, will welcome his former club to Ainslie Park in the Betfred Cup this weekend in his current role as Edinburgh City's sporting director.

After enjoying a successful managerial career spanning three decades, which included bossing Athletic's rivals Falkirk, and leading boyhood heroes Hearts to Scottish Cup glory in 1998, Jefferies was appointed to the ambitious League Two club's board in 2017.

Having stepped away from the frontline of the dugout after leaving Dunfermline in December 2014, his remit these days is to provide a sounding board for City's manager, James McDonaugh, as they plot to improve on last season's third-place finish – and play-off semi-final defeat to eventual winners Clyde.

Ahead of Stevie Crawford's squad making the short trip to the capital this Saturday, Jefferies looked back at his time in the Pars' dugout fondly, but laughed: "I'm rooting for them to go up this year, but I will have my other hat on on Saturday!

"It will be a tough match for us but, if we can get a good performance and result, we can take a lot from it.

"I saw the score come in on Sunday and thought that that was a great result away from home. But, teams are still gaining their full fitness, and some are using it to get up to speed and get the right preparation before the main event (the start of the league season).

"I think last year they had a go (at trying to win promotion) but maybe they've had to make cutbacks.

"Stevie's in now and, last year, there maybe wasn't much leeway for him in the transfer window, but I hope Stevie is given time to get it right."

While there have been a number of changes at the club since his departure, Jefferies will have the chance to catch-up with some familiar faces, including Greg Shields, who he worked with at Kilmarnock, and two of his former Pars players, Ryan Scully and Lewis Martin.

Ryan Scully and Lewis Martin did great for us, and it'll be great to see these boys," he continued.

"Greg was a terrific lad and very professional. We brought him back up from Charlton – he was down there for two or three seasons – and did a great job for us.

"He reminds me a lot of Stephen Wright (ex-Pars head of youth) in working with the young kids. Stephen did a terrific job and went to Rangers, and is now at Dundee, but Greg is a Dunfermline boy, played for the club over a couple of spells and knows all about the club.

"He will encourage the young boys into the first team and it'll be good to catch-up with him on Saturday.

"I really enjoyed my time at Dunfermline. I probably stayed a bit longer than I'd intended, to see them through the administration, but the supporters were great because they knew the situation."

Those supporters who cross the Forth will see some more familiar faces in the City side, with ex-Dunfermline men Chris Kane, Allan Smith and Blair Henderson – who last season finished as the country's leading marksman – all plying their trade with the club.

Jefferies added: "We had a huge recruitment programme last year and, at the start of the season, if we'd been given third place, we'd have taken your hand off.

"We led the league for so long, but had a small squad and injuries and a lack of experience showed. In the last game against Clyde, there were six players in tracksuits who would've started the match.

"It was still a terrific season for us but it's about improving. We've looked strong and want to go out and do our best; we didn't think we'd win the Irn-Bru Cup last year, but we gave it a good go and got to the semi-final, where we were the better side.

"Games like this will help us for the league season. There's no pressure on us and we'll give it our best shot."