FORMER Scotland under-21 striker Calum Elliot has vowed to steer Tranent Juniors towards league glory.

The former Hearts forward took the manager’s hot seat at Foresters Park on Saturday afternoon – just two days after the departure of Johnny Harvey.

Elliot met the players for the first time this week ahead of next weekend’s first match of the season at home to Hill of Beath Hawthorn.

Elliot said: “I am excited to take over and there is a really strong group of boys there that are capable of doing anything they want to do next season. It is my job to maximise the potential in that group of boys.”

Tranent reached out to Tynecastle Football Club towards the end of last week with a view to speaking to Elliot, who led them to a stunning East of Scotland Football League First Division Conference B title last season.

The Edinburgh side won 21 of their 23 games, drawing the remaining two, and scored 125 goal.

Elliot, 33, felt the opportunity make the switch to Tranent was one he could not turn down.

He said: “From a personal point of view, in terms of being ambitious, it was not that difficult. I knew it was the right thing to do.”

Tranent finished last season in fourth position after an impressive debut campaign in the top flight of the East of Scotland Football League.

Much is expected of the Belters again this coming season, with many tipping them to be pushing for the league title.

The new manager said: “I think there are five or six teams that want to do well next season.

“Tranent will not be any different.

“They have got a good following, an ambitious committee, ambitious players and they have got an ambitious manager.

“The ambition is certainly to push for the top and there is no reason we cannot do so with the group we have got but it is going to be difficult.

“Every single game is going to be difficult and it is so important that you are consistent and win games of football.”

During his playing career, Elliot featured more than 100 times for Hearts and also had loan spells at Motherwell, Livingston and Dundee.

Capped for Scotland’s under-20s and under-21s, he also played with Zalgiris Vilinius, in Lithuania, and Alloa before being forced to retire while at Raith Rovers after four knee operations.

He said: “To be honest, I probably enjoy managing more than playing.

“Especially towards the end of my career, I was playing injured and did not enjoy it as much and lost that buzz to an extent.

“I went into coaching and management and the biggest thing is winning; I love winning.

“I’m obsessed with winning and I am coming to the perfect club.

“They have got a good mentality and they want the exact same thing.

“I’m genuinely looking forward to getting started.”

David Innes, the club chairman, welcomed Elliot to Tranent Juniors and was looking forward to “witnessing Calum’s brand of attacking football”.

He said: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Calum Elliot as the new Tranent Juniors manager.

“Calum comes with a real good pedigree, he started his playing career with Hearts where he played over 100 first team games, he finished his senior career with Raith Rovers in 2015 due to injury.”