With the SPFL season only a matter of weeks away, Scottish Fans brings you it’s first part of season previews leading up to the big kick off. With this coming season being the first in which Highland and Lowland league teams can gain promotion to league football in Scotland, League Two should be more competitive than ever. Blair Condie looks forward to the coming campaign.
A mid-table finish last season was seen as an underachievement by some fans last season, and new manager, Darren Young, will have to impress quickly if he is to last at his new club. So far, he has brought in a number of new faces to the club, but has lost several players as well. It’s difficult to say where this side could end up by the end of the season as they have an unproven manager with several new faces.
One of very few clubs in Scotland who have been almost non-existent in the transfer market this season. Annan finished second in League Two last year and could find themselves in the same position this year. A push for automatic promotion is not out of the question for this club, having only lost two players – one of which retired – so if Jim Chapman can get his side believing they can win, the players do seem capable of that.
The relegated club from League One last season have had to majorly restructure their side following relegation. New manager, Allan Moore, is one of the most experienced managers around in the bottom division, and knows just how to do well here. Although many players have left, Moore has brought in players who know the League well and should be able to step up to the mark as required. Promotion back to League One will be on the lips of many fans.
The club which finished fifth last season may find their work cut out this season trying to reach the play-offs with so many other clubs which will have similar ambitions. Many players have left the Wee Gers, and only a few new faces have come in and replaced them. Some optimistic fans will still maintain an ambition to reach the play-offs, however the more realistic ones know that they may have to wait until next year.
Following former Rangers captain, Barry Ferguson’s appointment at Clyde, the Scottish League Two has found some limelight and attention. The club finished inside the play-offs last season and everyone will be expecting the same again this year. However, an unproven manager with big expectations has been found to be unsuccessful in the past, and after losing some key players, it’s difficult to put your money on Clyde being in the play-offs again this season.
The side which found themselves relegated via the play-offs last season have had to reconstruct majorly, just as Arbroath had to. It was almost a complete overhaul of the squad with almost every player who was part of the team last season having to leave and be replaced. With such a dramatic change in the squad, it’s almost impossible to see East Fife being back in League One for the start of next season.
One side that has made significant strides in the transfer market this season, East Stirling could see themselves pushing for a promotion play-off place. The main worry for this club is how many players have come in but so few have left – is there a good balance here?
A very disappointing campaign last year found Elgin second bottom of League Two last year, and looking at some of the signings, they are showing a clear ambition not to allow that to happen again this year. Following the signings of Michael Fraser from Ross County and Matthew Cooper from Inverness, as well as a few others, the northern club must have high hopes of at least a top half finish this term.
Montrose had a somewhat surprising campaign last season, finishing sixth. However, no new faces have been brought in – with the exception of new manager George Shields – and this must mean that the new boss is confident with the players he currently has at his disposal. However, with a new manager comes new ideas and tactics, not to mention his presence at the club – this is another club where it’s difficult to say where they will end up.
The club which finished bottom of the SPFL last season – which many will feel as an injustice. Having lost one of the most sought after talents last summer to Dundee United (Andrew Robertson) Queens Park have lost another one of their youngsters with a bright future, this time Blair Spittal – once again going to Dundee United. The club has brought in a number of new faces, but with such talented youngsters being snapped up by bigger clubs, it’s unfortunate to see that they’re forced into struggling for a top half finish.
Words – Blair Condie @bcondie92