Jump to content

How Confident Are You For The New Season?


Recommended Posts

It's that time of year where optimism abounds until the league games begin and the joy is quickly sucked out of you.

Stirling Albion looked like having a very strong squad until our best player (and main source of goals) Andy Ryan left for Hamilton.  With no sign of a replacement and a manager who arguably made us less than the sum of the parts last season, I can't see us troubling top spot.  We'll probably finish 3rd.  Kelty look depressingly strong, and I'd expect Elgin / Edinburgh / Forfar / Stenhousemuir to be challenging for the playoffs.  Stranraer may regress slightly.  Cowdenbeath, Albion Rovers, and Annan all have reasons to hope the new season will be better than the last one.  No obvious candidate to finish bottom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With squads still to be completed and pre season disrupted for many, it is a bit of a futile exercise trying to predict the season ahead.

However, I don’t think there will be a run away team at the top (QP or Cove) or a Brechin, Berwick at the bottom, resulting in a close league with not much between top and bottom and all teams capable of a result against each other. Kelty look the favourites but don’t think they are outstanding, at the moment. I don’t see any clear favourites for bottom spot with probably 6 of the teams capable of finishing there.

As for my own team, we have signed most of last seasons squad and as long as Hester stays we will score goals. I think we will add a couple of players but at the moment I don’t see us as being stronger while a lot of teams have strengthened. I predicted us to finish anywhere between 3rd and 8th last season and I’ll go for the same this year.

As with others a lot will depend on keeping key players injury free and players Covid free which will have a major bearing this season I believe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cowdenbeath:

New signings have strengthened areas where we lacked last season. Where did we struggle last season?  Goalkeeper, attacking mids and up front.

We appear to have focused our signings to fix these issues. Instead of relying on emergency loans in goal we have Cammy Gill signed after he left Dunfermline.  He's been solid so far. We even have David McGurn as back up which is a huge upgrade on...well...nobody.  

Kyle Hutton is solid in the holding midfield role allowing Kyle Miller to play in his better role in behind the strikers.  Bringing in Bobby Barr gives us competition out wide for the first time in ages.  

Up front instead of having an injured Renton up top on his own we a fit Renton partnered with Liam Buchanan.   We've a couple of young guys on loan from Raith Rovers as well who should be looking to make an impact.

We should be feeling positive for the season.  If we can avoid injuries then we can easily be a top half team.  It's a tight league this season though with only Kelty standing out.  I think I'd be disappointed if we missed out on the promotion play offs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, tamthebam said:

I don't think we'll go down..

I don't know Tam, I'm sure someone at the club said we were trying to get out of this league! 😁

Anyway, I quite enjoyed the Lowland league days!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Thom & Gerry said:

I don’t see us as being stronger while a lot of teams have strengthened. I predicted us to finish anywhere between 3rd and 8th last season and I’ll go for the same this year

It's a bit early to predict for sure with teams to complete their squads.

To try to predict at this stage, I'd say Kelty Hertz will win the league by Easter. 

Only Stirling Albion look capable of challenging for a while so they'd be second for me.

As you say everyone else look much of a muchness and could finish anywhere from 3rd to 10th. Probably Stranraer and Elgin for the other two play-off places.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m maybe a bit more positive about Stirling Albion’s chances than BinoBalls. Yes Andy Ryan is a huge loss but I do think, as a whole, the squad is stronger than last season.

A lot of pressure will now fall on Carrick and Bikey to get similar amounts of goals to what they have previously hit at this level and there will also be an expectation for the likes of Leitch, Mackin, Heaver, Flannigan, Omar, Roberts and co to get in on the act more, but I think they are all more than capable.

Are they more than capable of toppling Kelty, who let’s be honest, like Cove before them, are promoted and instantly installed as favourites, I’m not to sure. However I do feel that we should be expecting to challenge them and if we don’t then it’s a disappointment.

Going by what we have seen in the 3 games so far, there does seem to be a better balance about the side, and there also seems to be a bit more of an attacking intent than previously under KR.

I’m confident that this league will be tight from top to bottom, there’s not a lot in it and there’s also not an obvious candidate to finish bottom, so we could be on the verge of one of the best League 2 campaigns in a long time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have started well in the Premier Cup games and our game against Elgin was promising. We started a weaker team and still looked better with the big guns coming on to finish it off. Under no illusions though it'll be tough to think about winning it. We still lack a wee bit of depth. Buzzing to be here to be honest! 

Edited by leomessi1984
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m looking forward to this season, so no doubt it will end in disaster.

Im hoping Cowden can challenge for a top 4 slot which is where we were pre Covid but overall, I think it will be a very competitive league. Bookies have Kelty as walkover Champions but I’m not convinced that will happen tho they will be up there. For me, Stirling have made the best recruitment so far but underperformed last season. Throw in Edinburgh, Elgin, Forfar for title/ top 4 fight too.

No idea what to expect from Stenny or Stranraer who have had major upheaval then the perennial battlers Cowden, Annan and Albion Rovers who give most Clubs a tough game 

No clear candidate to finish bottom either so should be good watching if Covid doesn’t feck it all up again.

Bring it on !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kelty will absolutely do a Cove. The money has been invested to do just that. 
Squad far too strong. 
 

Cowden have strengthened a bit and should be improved, although injuries as always can be a big factor on how successful a season is.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Aberdeen Cowden said:

I was feeling confident until the Brechin game last week. That was a wakeup call.

I certainly don’t think Kelty will run away with the league.

With the players they have signed, there’s something not right if they don’t win it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I fancy a good season for us. The professionalism Swift has brought is pretty clear already, he has high standards.

We have a team of grafters with a good mix of quality & we look like we will be playing quite pressing which teams at this level struggle with.

Slight concern with the GK, however early days so may just be getting up to speed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we will be better than the last couple of years, the vast majority of our transfer business was done relatively early,

Bringing in experienced player from this division is a big thing too, of the 5 guys we signed from Stirling 3 were at the club a couple years ago,

Charlie Reilly looks to be a real find and I think Max Wright is a great signing, I remember him away back to when he was at East Stirlingshire

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Been really impressed with the performances so far. Gave a good account of ourselves against the teams from the higher leagues and played some nice football. Goalkeeper is the only position that worries me - Marshall hasn't impressed at all and I worry about what state Graeme Smith will be in should he ever get fit. It has been a long time since we went into a season with anything other than dread so this feeling is  quite novel. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

im confident we'll finish in the top half and hopefully in the playoffs weve not had much of a pre season but some teams in the league have improved with their pre season for example stirling albion so itll probably be another tough league this season

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Stenhousemuir can challenge for a play-off place. Our squad is a mix of well-known SPFL players and non-league jobbers and they've shown up quite well in the pre-season friendlies and Premier Sports Cup matches. Although results haven't necessarily gone our way, our performances have been spirited, the players have looked the part and you can see what Stephen Swift is trying to do with them. We're a good attacking side and I reckon Robert Thomson and Tam Orr can get about 20-odd goals between over the course of the campaign, while players like Darren Christie, Cammy Graham and Ross Forbes will have an important role to play and chip in with a couple themselves.

I am a little concerned about the defence - I don't trust Ryan Marshall, the goalkeeper, but I'm not sure if Davie Wilson is any better, and that's now back-to-back games where we've seen a calamitous howler (both involving Nicky Jamieson, interestingly enough). I'm not 100 per cent sold on the full-backs either - while they're good at bombing forward, Ross Lyon especially, they don't seem to be the best defenders and I think they can be got at it. I think we're capable of scoring goals but we'll probably concede a lot in the process. Also, some of the squad players have yet to impress so far.

A shoot prediction based on nothing more than my own prejudices: Kelty Hearts will win the league by a double-digit advantage; Stirling AlbionElgin City and Stenhousemuir will finish in the play-offs; Edinburgh City will narrowly miss out on the top four, so too will Forfar AthleticCowdenbeath and Stranraer will finish in the lower reaches of the table, a handful of points from the play-offs but miles away from danger; Albion Rovers will probably beat Kelty twice but have a difficult season; and Annan Athletic will finish bottom but survive the play-offs.

I think it is going to be a superb season of football ahead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I, like many, strongly suspect Kelty will be this season's first-class passengers on HMS Piss the League. I must stress, though, that I would quite strongly fancy Stirling Albion for contention were it not for their being managed by Barry Ferguson-lite in Kevin Rutkiewicz, who I'm surprised is still being backed to this extent at Stirling after some really mixed campaigns. If they hit a sticky patch early doors then it'll be interesting to see what the response is, but they've added some very fine players for that level indeed and have overall strengthened markedly despite the departure of Andy Ryan.

It's a very interesting league this season and one I'll be keeping a close eye on (particularly if my own team transpire to be, as looks likely, complete cannon fodder), because there are several teams it really could go either way for. In addition to Stirling, you've got Gary Naysmith's pretty brutal clearout policy at Edinburgh City making them a bit of an unknown, the recent returns of some Annan Agricultural stars of yonder, Broomhillmuir's wet-around-the-ears gaffer with his attractive footballing principles and even Stranraer, whose new charge Jamie Hamill seems to be hoping the peculiarly studious aura derived from his bespectacled new look results in a promising debut season in management.

I actually think Forfar could be dark horses this term, with the pretty profound caveat of them managing to keep what looks a fairly thin squad, and in particular permacrock Craig Slater, free of injury. It's good to see that Albion Rovers are in better shape these days and, while they won't challenge the promotion playoffs, they'll fancy themselves to avoid that trap door again this season - the Stirling cast-offs they've signed will improve them. You always know what you're going to get with Elgin which is rank inconsistency and a lot of goals both for and against; if Kane Hester can avoid his inevitable stint in the chokey until next year then you wouldn't bet against them for the play-offs.

Overall I can't find much fault with the above ranking, although I do genuinely believe that this year will be the one which sees Cowdenbeath finally and deservedly flushed out of the national league system. I recall conducting my immediate post-season reconnaissance in this forum in May and seeing a quite bewildering take from one of their fans (who must've gone particularly hard on the baths salts that day) which elicited a bit of a belly laugh from myself. The chap seemed to inexplicably believe that keeping together the squad which hauled them to a *checks notes* ninth place finish in the 2020-21 Ladbrokes would result in a promotion charge this season. Perhaps I'm blinkered somewhat by my dislike of the club but I do think they'll have a torrid campaign this year.

Tl;dr - I am a fan of nine of the sides in this division and will be running with an ABC policy week-to-week

Edited by the_bully_wee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, the_bully_wee said:


Overall I can't find much fault with the above ranking, although I do genuinely believe that this year will be the one which sees Cowdenbeath finally and deservedly flushed out of the national league system. I recall conducting my immediate post-season reconnaissance in this forum in May and seeing a quite bewildering take from one of their fans (who must've gone particularly hard on the baths salts that day) which elicited a bit of a belly laugh from myself. The chap seemed to inexplicably believe that keeping together the squad which hauled them to a *checks notes* ninth place finish in the 2020-21 Ladbrokes would result in a promotion charge this season. Perhaps I'm blinkered somewhat by my dislike of the club but I do think they'll have a torrid campaign this year.

Tl;dr - I am a fan of nine of the sides in this division and will be running with an ABC policy week-to-week

Get some therapy mate. Seriously.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m not sure there will be runaway leaders or runaway trapdoor troublers this season.

I expect Kelty to be there or thereabouts, given their investment, and would have thought that Stirling Albion and Elgin will be top end too.

I’m hoping we will be troubling the top end, and we’ve looked decent, if a slight bit toothless, so far. But there have been so many changes at both Stranraer and Stenny that I’m not sure where either will finish.

Don’t know enough about Forfar, would think Albion Rovers have improved slightly, Edinburgh City regressed slightly, and fear for Cowden, but more particularly Annan.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...