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Forfar Athletic News 2018 onwards


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43 minutes ago, Bridie Vision said:

Yes we didn't get promoted, but that doesn't mean Gary Irvine is the 2nd coming of Stuart Malcolm! Yes he's inexperienced but he has to bite his teeth somewhere and Forfar is a decent place for him. He'll be given time (remember the board were happy to keep Malcolm, he chose to walk away) and he has shown on occasion that him and Scott Robertson can do a good job.

The majority of the squad are under contract so that gives us a great place to build from. We will do well next season with the right additions. I agree that if plan A isn't working for Irvine he does struggle, and resorts to hoofball. Hopefully experience will help him improve.

I agree that another season in L2 is a blessing in disguise so I prefer to be optimistic (but not overreacting). As for recruitment, I would target the following:

Left Back (it'll probably be another loanee), Centre Back (with Andy being out for some of next season), Defensive Midfield (someone that is strong and dependable, therefore allowing Slater to flourish - Harkins & Hutton are not that player), Striker (Matty is fine, but we do need a different style of forward for options and competition).

I wish I could be so positive, fair play for that.

I'm not sure folk are overreacting though. The posters complaining have been consistent for a while now and could see the iceberg coming.

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Just had a wee look at some stats there.

We had a win percentage of 55.55% in the first half of the league season but just 33.33% in the 2nd half of the campaign. We won just 27% of games that Harkins started, near enough 1 in 4, he only made 4 sub appearances in the first half of the season but started half of our games in the second half and obviously both play-off games.

Should point out that our win percentage over the whole second half (not counting playoffs) was also 33.33% with Harkins and 33.3% without, so it may not have just been him! I do think there were a lot more questionable selections in the second half rather than sticking to what worked for us earlier in the season.

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1 minute ago, LoonsYouthTeam said:

Just had a wee look at some stats there.

We had a win percentage of 55.55% in the first half of the league season but just 33.33% in the 2nd half of the campaign. We won just 27% of games that Harkins started, near enough 1 in 4, he only made 4 sub appearances in the first half of the season but started half of our games in the second half and obviously both play-off games.

Should point out that our win percentage over the whole second half (not counting playoffs) was also 33.33% with Harkins and 33.3% without, so it may not have just been him! I do think there were a lot more questionable selections in the second half rather than sticking to what worked for us earlier in the season.

I agree, we all know something happened around Christmas. Before then we were nipping at Kelty's heels but from January onwards we slid back and they carried on cruising. Now I'm not saying we would've fought Kelty the whole way but I expected us to be a bit closer.

As for the reason why we changed at Christmas I can't pin point it but these events happened around then, whether they made a difference or not is up for debate. 

- Thomson returned from injury. 

- Stephen Anderson and Jamie Ness picked up long term injuries.

- The club were hit by multiple COVID absentees (all clubs were affected at one point or another but just after Christmas was our time to be hit)

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So our squad for next season so far looks like this:

Goalkeepers:
Marc McCallum 2024

Defenders:
Andy Munro 2023
Yusuf Hussain 2023
Ross Meechan 2023

Midfielders:
Craig Thomson 2023

PJ Crossan 2023
Craig Slater 2023
Kyle Hutton 2023

Forwards:
Matty Aitken 2023
Stef McCluskey 2023

Out of that I'd be looking to get rid of Hussain, he's looked like a lost puppy any game he's played and for quite a big guy isn't physical at all. Need to see more from Crossan if he's to stay. Do think we have the makings of a decent core for this level there.

Keep/Punt on the others:

Lewis Sanderson - He only played once in the league and was unwell, I'm actually not too arsed about a sub keeper as Marc is an excellent first choice. Imagine he'd be cheap so happy to keep as back up.

Darren Whyte - Should definitely be looking to keep

Steven Anderson - Already signed by Berwick, not too fussed

Grant Anderson - I like Grant, but he's too slow for a winger now, he can't beat a man. I think he'll go and I wouldn't be concerned by that.

Gary Harkins - Imagine he'll stay as a coach but I hope he isn't playing next year

Callum Moore -Agree with those that say he took a while to get up to speed but has looked better. Would keep him but also wouldn't be gutted if he left

Jamie Ness - Not sure if he'll play football again, looked OK when he did but been injured for months

Archie Thomas - I don't think he's that good, I do think he hasn't had a fair crack at it this year though. Imagine he'll leave

Scott Shepherd - I love Shep, but he's just not a footballer. He'll run for 90 minutes but get him to try and do anything with the ball and he's lost (apart from taking penalties which he's great at). He should go.

Of the loanees would love to see Warnock back but imagine Killie might want to try him at a higher level if they loan him again. Would take back Strachan but can't see that happening. Not fussed on Brindley.

 

For new signings, a left back is essential as are two strikers and a centre back or two depending what happens with Whyte. I'd like a holding midfielder in there too and a proper left winger would be great. I'd expect we should be challenging at the top next year, but a poor start could see Irvine under pressure early on. Think it'll be quite a tight league next year, there won't be a Kelty in there, Stirling will be better next year, Bonnyrigg look set to join and will be confident they can do well, and there's no obvious candidate for club 42.

 

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48 minutes ago, Loon From Outta Toon said:

Scott Shepherds listed as a free agent on PFA Scotland website, so safe to assume he’s away.


wonder if the club will ever tell us the players leaving.

Took until June 5th last season to tell us so anything earlier than that is an improvement.

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8 hours ago, Loon From Outta Toon said:

Scott Shepherds listed as a free agent on PFA Scotland website, so safe to assume he’s away.


wonder if the club will ever tell us the players leaving.

 

8 hours ago, fafc1885 said:

Took until June 5th last season to tell us so anything earlier than that is an improvement.

Don't contracts expire 31st May so technically they can't give a released list until 1st June? Although I assume all players will know if they are staying or going by now. 

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1 hour ago, Bridie Vision said:

 

Don't contracts expire 31st May so technically they can't give a released list until 1st June? Although I assume all players will know if they are staying or going by now. 

Yeah they expire 31st may.

but could at least provide us with an update on players offered contracts etc, seem like one of the few clubs that don’t update any lists until people basically know who’s left when we see other clubs announcing they’ve signed!

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Scott Shepherds listed as a free agent on PFA Scotland website, so safe to assume he’s away.

wonder if the club will ever tell us the players leaving.

Had a wee look on the pfa site, mark hill listed; thought there was a player in there but not sure part time training/lockdown helped him!
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9 minutes ago, Loon81 said:


Had a wee look on the pfa site, mark hill listed; thought there was a player in there but not sure part time training/lockdown helped him!

Yeah he was a cracking player when he was with us on loan, just went let himself go & went downhill unfortunately.

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13 hours ago, Loon From Outta Toon said:

Grant Anderson away anyways.

36F7F897-44A5-4DCC-A2CE-C82EE8D0C3E2.jpeg

Felt he was a decent option off the bench, would imagine he won’t want to see out his career sitting on the bench in League Two which is understandable. Not a massive loss overall, but in terms of bench options he was one of the more reliable ones.

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Great news about Darren and Callum.

Going by the Facebook post, unless I’ve missed anyone out, the only players now out of contract are Lewis Sanderson, Archie Thomas, Scott Shepherd and Jamie Ness.

Out of the four, I can only see Sanderson being kept to be back up. I’d be happy to keep Thomas but Irvine doesn’t seem to fancy him so he’ll be away.

Shepherd is already on the PFA Scotland player list so I assume he is away. He puts in an effort which is more than can be said for Matty.

Ness can go, I can’t imagine he will be cheap wage wise, is too injury prone and didn’t impress me when he did play.

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Well done Travs, got unfairly punted out of the club (in my opinion) well who's laughing now, he's just got promoted along with ex-Loon strikers Ouzy & Shanley, both of whom were underwhelming for us.

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5 minutes ago, Bridie Vision said:

Well done Travs, got unfairly punted out of the club (in my opinion) well who's laughing now, he's just got promoted along with ex-Loon strikers Ouzy & Shanley, both of whom were underwhelming for us.

Not sure he got unfairly punted.

he wasn’t better than the options we had, congratulations to him & all the best though.

 

ps you forgot Callum Tapping as well.

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