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craigiemack

2020/2021 Predictions!

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5 sleeps till East Stirlingshire FC ruin my Saturdays again and I can't wait so lets get the predictions in for the year.

1. Kelty Hearts - Despite losing some key defensive players they've kept the bulk of their team from last season and made some shrewd signings. Jamieson is one of the best part time goalkeepers in the country and although they didn't make any eye catching defensive signings it should be a solid enough back 4. Higginbotham adds more firepower to their already feared attack and it would be a shock if they didn't win the league. One thing i noticed though is no LL team has played in the Betfred Cup and won the league in the same season, the games against St Johnstone and Dundee Utd might take a bit of the legs so will be interesting to see how they respond.

2. Bonnyrigg Rose - A solid unit last year and you'd expect more of the same. The other teams that finished in the top 4 last year have made changes to their squads but Bonnyrigg have signed everyone on and added the versatility of Andy Mair from Civil, another solid team so you'd expect him to fit in easily, defensive depth in Bob Wilson and the goalscoring ability of Jordan Smith from Tynecastle. I don't think they will be as close to Kelty this year but I think they might still be one step ahead of the rest. The downsides would be the loss of Euan Moyes and the effect of behind closed doors games. New Dundas is always a fiery place to go and the intimidation factor might not be there this year with no fans.

3. East Kilbride - Good old Kilby have invested heavily this summer but its strikingly similar to the Shires failed attempt of last year. Scatter gun recruitment of players that don't really know that they are letting themselves in for. The way Aitken conducts his interviews also give an air of complacency and they might be in for a shock when they go to Stirling Uni on Saturday. However, if it all clicks then they will be strong challengers for the league and will give Kelty a strong fight. One of my pals is a Morecambe fan and said that Steven Old is a very commanding defender and a huge threat from set pieces while you'd expect Paul Paton to have a similar influence to Nicky Low. Chris Erskine imo could be one of the worst LL signings ever but we'll wait and see on that one.

4. East Stirlingshire - I think this has been the Shires best summer of recruitment since our first season in the LL. Keeping Tapping, Low, Dish and Brown at the club was great business and we look to have strategically signed players to fit a tactic. Barclay was past his best and has been replaced by Ross Connolly, yet to concede a goal in pre season and looks a good addition. Gregg Wylde will add a bit of quality in defence while Kieran Gibbons will add stability to the midfield and allow Low more freedom to work his magic. Hadden and Henderson are two young wingers but appear to have a lot of pace and might add the direct wing play that we were missing last season and Kearney and Brown will be a very physical front pair. I think we'll be a very good team to watch this year but we are a long way off challenging for the league. The clubs defeatist attitude in big games denies any shot of winning them so it will no doubt be another season of ifs, buts and maybes. If it all clicks we might challenge the top 3 but in the same breathe I wouldn't be surprised if we finished in 7th.

5. BSC Glasgow - Like Shire I really like the signings BSC have made this summer but their is a lot of the unknown this season regarding the squad, something there hasn't been in previous years. Marshall was a solid, experienced keeper and he has been replaced with an untested younger goalkeeper. The loss of Collins and Orr up top will surely be a huge loss and are almost impossible to replace. Because of this, there will surely be a lot of pressure on Declan Hughes to drive the team forward. However, in Stephen Swift they have probably the best manager in the league who will have drilled the same ethos into the new players. They'll be hard to beat and if as clinical in attack as they been in recent years they'll be a hindrance to the teams at the top and could easily sneak into the top 3 again. 

6-14th. Trojans, Edusport Academy, Borrowstounness, Cumbernauld Stallions, Gala Unicorndean, Stirling College, Berwick Celtic, Dalbeattie Circle, Civil Service Amblers. 

There is literally no way to separate any of these teams. Spartans have made good signings but are still no where near the force they once were. Edusport have made some decent signings too and with the strike force of McLaughlin and McNeil they are a good team on their day. They just lack the consistency and a shaky back 4 doesn't help that. I can't see Bo Ness having the same impact Bonnyrigg did in the league and the quotes from their manager suggest that a period of stability and adjustment are the aims for the season. Cumbernauld came out in Januray saying they had a bit of cash to spend this year but all they have done is sign Queens Parks under 20 team. Shire had two players on loan from them last year, both decent players but no where near the quality to push into the top 5. Can they take points of Kelty for the third year in a row? I quite like Galas team, Galbraith and Rodgers are very good players for this level and will comfortably keep them out of the relegation fight and their aim will be trying to be the Borders premier team for the second year running. The covid crisis has probably had the harshest impact on the uni teams as their ability to get new players has been hindered but you would expect them to be comfortably mid table again. Angus Mailer will be a huge loss for them though. Berwick are doing a lot of great work of the field but on it is a different story. They managed to get rid of Walters, who was perhaps one of the worst goalies i've seen at this level, this can only be a positive. Lewis Allan will give them firepower to push up the league slightly you would imagine. Vale of Leithen first game will give a big indication of what is to come. Dalbeattie made a few eye catching signings and that looks to have pushed them away from the other 3 struggling teams of last year. A possible outside chance to reach the top half. I literally have no idea what to write about Civil, I think they've passed their peak as the other sides around them seem to have improved while they've stayed stagnant, there is not much on their social media so I guess i'll see on Saturday when they inevitably shitfest a 1-0 victory against the Shire.

15th. Gretna 2008 - The Gretna team that was defeated 9-1 by the Shire was the worst side I have ever witnessed so this year surely can't be as bad as that. Rowan Alexander is a great appointment as manager and i'm sure he'll improve them. They got some good results in the cups last year and if they can translate that to league form they should move clear of the bottom 2 but I dont't think they have the quality to reach any of the clubs mentioned above.

16th-17th. Vale of Leithen and Edinburgh Uni - Both stick ons to go down but I don't know in what order. Vales luck will surely run out and i'm sad about that because I never made it down to their ground for a game. They seem to have lost a few players to the East of Scotland League and their 4-1 defeat to LTHV in pre-season doesn't bode well for the season ahead. No clue about Edinburgh Uni, they were already close to the drop and the covid situation will have put more pressure on the management team to sign up players. Both look goners if 2 teams are relegated this year.

 

 

Edited by craigiemack

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f**k me, that is 2 hours of my life i'll never get back. Can't wait to get started again on Saturday - hopefully we'll all be allowed in to games at some point in the near future.

All the best to every team this year and a huge thanks to all the committees and covid officers that have worked tirelessly to make the restart of football a success👍

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4 hours ago, craigiemack said:

f**k me, that is 2 hours of my life i'll never get back. Can't wait to get started again on Saturday - hopefully we'll all be allowed in to games at some point in the near future.

All the best to every team this year and a huge thanks to all the committees and covid officers that have worked tirelessly to make the restart of football a success👍

Worth the effort. Really good read. 👏👏

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Some mad duds on the Lowland League podcast saying Berwick Rangers are dark horses this year. Not sure what for, probably the knackers yard. 
Top five in no particular order East Kilbride, Kelty, the big Rose, Bo'ness and BSC (despite their many disciplinary problems).
I think Bo'ness will flop and they wont get top half.

Kelty Shire EK BSC Rose top 5

VOL and Dalbettie or Edi Uni to go down or be saved by no covid relgations, with VOL getting less than 20 points all season

SPFL will find a way to save Brechin from the play-offs again.

The record LL win will be beaten this season.

The darkhorses of Berwick will over-achieve and finish 10th this season

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In an ideal world predictions may well turn out to be correct but I predict the season will start but be lucky if gets finished. 

The carry on isn't going away anytime soon which has to be worrying for any football fan be it league or non league so the real winners will be teams that survive this pandemic and not just relegation. 

A bit of a negative post but only being realistic.  

 

Edited by newcastle broon

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28 minutes ago, newcastle broon said:

In an ideal world predictions may well turn out to be correct but I predict the season will start but be lucky if gets finished. 

The carry on isn't going away anytime soon which has to be worrying for any football fan be it league or non league so the real winners will be teams that survive this pandemic and not just relegation. 

A bit of a negative post but only being realistic.  

 

Bloody hell Newky - this was a super positive thread my friend, let us all dream!! 😆

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55 minutes ago, newcastle broon said:

In an ideal world predictions may well turn out to be correct but I predict the season will start but be lucky if gets finished. 

The carry on isn't going away anytime soon which has to be worrying for any football fan be it league or non league so the real winners will be teams that survive this pandemic and not just relegation. 

A bit of a negative post but only being realistic.  

 

You may well be right Newky but we need to try and stay positive and try live as normal a life as possible.  Cancelling everything until this pandemic is over simply isn't an option imo.

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I think realistically newky is right, the chances of this season being finished (unless they elongate it into next season) are shrinking and shrinking.

But ignoring that - I also think Kelty will win the league again. They were the best team last season and they look to have strengthened this season.

As for Shire, I've no idea. I think we look like a better team than last year, and I'm also happy with a lot of the signings we've made. I dont see us catching Kelty, but I'm hopeful of us being able to put up a better challenge this year. 

EK will be better, how much more so I dont know. There's always the danger they could end up with a few signings like we had last year, very good in concept but couldn't really be arsed.

BSC and Bonnyrigg also in the top 5, Bonnyrigg are probably still the best of the rest and have the advantage, as last year, of having a settled, very experienced team. BSC will get over the loss of their front line without too much trouble, I think.

I dont see anyone in the rest of the league breaking into that top 5, a lot of decent sides in there but not really enough consistency to keep up imo.  

I'll pick Vale to be relegated, but it would funny if they somehow wriggled out of the drop again, and the posters on here who have a weird obsession with having them punted from the league lost the plot.

All in all, I am very much looking forward to Saturday afternoon, and best of luck to everyone ahead of the season. Hopefully we can all make it through relatively unscathed.

Oh yeah, and does anyone want to predict who the first team are that will fake a Covid scare in order to have a game postponed? 

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1 hour ago, Jerry Macguire said:

You may well be right Newky but we need to try and stay positive and try live as normal a life as possible.  Cancelling everything until this pandemic is over simply isn't an option imo.

I never said cancel it I said be lucky if it finishes.

For what its worth I've been at a few games doon here it's not the same as following yer team but just good to catch a game. 

Must admit though I've been put off lately wi recent rules making face masks compulsory and now most matches all ticket with 150 max capacity at northern league level. 

Games I was at were track and traced on entry wi plenty sanitisers within the grounds so no reason it cant happen in Scotland. 

Best of luck to all teams in the LL this season. 

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20 hours ago, craigiemack said:

Vales luck will surely run out and i'm sad about that because I never made it down to their ground for a game. They seem to have lost a few players to the East of Scotland League and their defeats to Border Amateur teams in pre-season doesn't bode well for the season ahead.

Rubbish - they're unbeaten against the Border Amateur teams if you care to take the time to look at their results properly.

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3 hours ago, newcastle broon said:

I never said cancel it I said be lucky if it finishes.

For what its worth I've been at a few games doon here it's not the same as following yer team but just good to catch a game. 

Must admit though I've been put off lately wi recent rules making face masks compulsory and now most matches all ticket with 150 max capacity at northern league level. 

Games I was at were track and traced on entry wi plenty sanitisers within the grounds so no reason it cant happen in Scotland. 

Best of luck to all teams in the LL this season. 

All the best to Whitehill for the season ahead as well. 

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2 hours ago, MDM said:

Rubbish - they're unbeaten against the Border Amateur teams if you care to take the time to look at their results properly.

Hahaha sorry I misread the results, I'll change the OP.  A 4-1 thumping of LTHV isn't exactly great pre season form either though !

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18 hours ago, Jerry Macguire said:

Worth the effort. Really good read. 👏👏

Cheers Jerry, feel like I'm being harsh on BSC with 5th. I could genuinely make a case for any of the top 5 winning the league. I think Kelty will win it comfortably but there are so many mitigating factors that could derail any teams season.

BSC have some big boots to fill with Marshall, Orr and Collins leaving and it's a lot of pressure on the young guys that have replaced them. Andy Geggan might be the key to a good season as his experience will be crucial. What a signing that was.

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I think Bo'ness will flop and they wont get top half.


Confident that the BU's will not flop. The squad from last year more or less intact with the Broxburn pair of Locke and Miller giving us a boost.
Top 4 finish was my early prediction and I am sticking to it.......for at least October

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I think realistically newky is right, the chances of this season being finished (unless they elongate it into next season) are shrinking and shrinking.
But ignoring that - I also think Kelty will win the league again. They were the best team last season and they look to have strengthened this season.
As for Shire, I've no idea. I think we look like a better team than last year, and I'm also happy with a lot of the signings we've made. I dont see us catching Kelty, but I'm hopeful of us being able to put up a better challenge this year. 
EK will be better, how much more so I dont know. There's always the danger they could end up with a few signings like we had last year, very good in concept but couldn't really be arsed.
BSC and Bonnyrigg also in the top 5, Bonnyrigg are probably still the best of the rest and have the advantage, as last year, of having a settled, very experienced team. BSC will get over the loss of their front line without too much trouble, I think.
I dont see anyone in the rest of the league breaking into that top 5, a lot of decent sides in there but not really enough consistency to keep up imo.  
I'll pick Vale to be relegated, but it would funny if they somehow wriggled out of the drop again, and the posters on here who have a weird obsession with having them punted from the league lost the plot.
All in all, I am very much looking forward to Saturday afternoon, and best of luck to everyone ahead of the season. Hopefully we can all make it through relatively unscathed.
Oh yeah, and does anyone want to predict who the first team are that will fake a Covid scare in order to have a game postponed? 
Classic junior tactic there.

100% Bonnyrigg Rose, only if its a home game though

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8 hours ago, craigiemack said:

Cheers Jerry, feel like I'm being harsh on BSC with 5th. I could genuinely make a case for any of the top 5 winning the league. I think Kelty will win it comfortably but there are so many mitigating factors that could derail any teams season.

BSC have some big boots to fill with Marshall, Orr and Collins leaving and it's a lot of pressure on the young guys that have replaced them. Andy Geggan might be the key to a good season as his experience will be crucial. What a signing that was.

I think if you look back at peoples predictions the last 3 seasons we’ve  exceeded most people’s expectation. I’m happy if we can keep doing that. You’ve gave your predictions Craigie but you’ve also given your reasons which I can’t argue with tbh. Marshall, Collins, Orr and Grehan will be a massive miss. On the plus side Geggan is the obvious one but we’ve also signed Ross Lyon and the lad Agyeman who I’m told is a flying machine. I’m a little less concerned about the goalkeeper situation as we’ve retained our entire back line from last season and added to that with the likes of Declan Fitzpatrick and Jamie Ballantine. 

The bit of the team that really excites me is our midfield. Declan Hughes is for me the best midfielder in the league, add Michael Anderson, Jamie Hamilton Andy Geggan and Ross Lyon and that is probably the strongest part of our team.  
A big part of the success we’ve had in recent seasons has been our fitness levels and I can see that continuing this season. If you look at the average age of our squad (24ish) we’ve managed to blend experience with energy and pace. I think compared to some teams we have a better balance. 

Key to our success will be goals and whilst we’ve lost our entire front line from last season we do get goals from other areas. Guys like Ross McMillan, Ross Smith, Jamie Hamilton & Declan Hughes all scored important goals for us last season and with quality like Andy Geggan and Ross Lyon in the team I’d expect to see that continue with more goals from other areas of the pitch this season.

Usually at this time I’d be getting excited about the start of the season but then I keep remembering I can’t go to any games and it leaves me feeling a bit deflated. Hopefully I’ll feel different on Saturday when I tune into the live stream on Twitch. At least it will give us all some new material on here. 
 

 

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I think if you look back at peoples predictions the last 3 seasons we’ve  exceeded most people’s expectation. I’m happy if we can keep doing that. You’ve gave your predictions Craigie but you’ve also given your reasons which I can’t argue with tbh. Marshall, Collins, Orr and Grehan will be a massive miss. On the plus side Geggan is the obvious one but we’ve also signed Ross Lyon and the lad Agyeman who I’m told is a flying machine. I’m a little less concerned about the goalkeeper situation as we’ve retained our entire back line from last season and added to that with the likes of Declan Fitzpatrick and Jamie Ballantine. 

The bit of the team that really excites me is our midfield. Declan Hughes is for me the best midfielder in the league, add Michael Anderson, Jamie Hamilton Andy Geggan and Ross Lyon and that is probably the strongest part of our team.  

A big part of the success we’ve had in recent seasons has been our fitness levels and I can see that continuing this season. If you look at the average age of our squad (24ish) we’ve managed to blend experience with energy and pace. I think compared to some teams we have a better balance. 

Key to our success will be goals and whilst we’ve lost our entire front line from last season we do get goals from other areas. Guys like Ross McMillan, Ross Smith, Jamie Hamilton & Declan Hughes all scored important goals for us last season and with quality like Andy Geggan and Ross Lyon in the team I’d expect to see that continue with more goals from other areas of the pitch this season.

Usually at this time I’d be getting excited about the start of the season but then I keep remembering I can’t go to any games and it leaves me feeling a bit deflated. Hopefully I’ll feel different on Saturday when I tune into the live stream on Twitch. At least it will give us all some new material on here. 

 

 

You could just have said i fancy us to do well again jerry.

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You could just have said i fancy us to do well again jerry.
It's now only a few days to kick off so he's just getting a tad excited.

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8 hours ago, johnmc80 said:

You could just have said i fancy us to do well again jerry.

I think we’ll do okay John. 😂😂

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