Summary of last season – A pretty awful season and relegation from League One. Paul Sheerin’s side just never really got going last year and they paid the price. Arbroath were unlucky with players coming and going which meant a lack of consistency and an inability to build any kind of momentum. It didn’t really matter what they did or what they tried it just wasn’t enough. Their form throughout the year was so erratic it was always going to the case that Arbroath would be fighting a relegation battle for long periods of the season. Despite relegation Sheerin did not get the sack however he did leave the club to join the youth setup at Aberdeen. Allan Moore was given the managers job in June.
Players in – David Crawford (Stirling Albion), Adam Hunter (Ayr United), Craig Johnstone (East Fife), Scott McBride (East Fife), Simon Murray (Dundee Violet), Kieran Stewart (St Johnstone), Michael Wallace (Lochore Juniors), Mark Whatley (Spartans)
Players out – Ross Chisholm (Hurlford United), Alan Cook (East Fife), Colin Hamilton (Brechin City), Alex Keddie (Free), Ryan McGeever (End of loan), Leighton McIntosh (End of loan), Lari Yao (Free)
What they still need – The Arbroath defence still needs work. Whether it is a change of shape or a change in personnel there is still room for improvement. Elsewhere there are enough options within the squad, and going forward Arbroath will score goals this year with the attacking players they have.
Key player – A player that has always impressed is Bobby Linn. After leaving Dundee earlier in his career Linn made a name for himself at Peterhead and East Fife before turning junior. He is back in the SPFL setup with Arbroath and had a good season last year. He is a skilful and talented striker who should thrive in League Two.
Opinion on Arbroath – Whether it will be a hangover from last year or a new manager struggling to get going this might be a difficult season for Arbroath. They look a little weaker than last year, in particular at the back. Coming down and then performing can sometimes be difficult as Arbroath are entering a league where four or five teams will be well placed to challenge for the title. It might be easy to suggest that a relegated team could be expected to gain immediate promotion but it will be very difficult for this squad.
Prediction for this season – 6th
Summary of last season – Pretty good. The season ended with Berwick in 5th place and that is a decent achievement. There was a management change in January as Ian Little left the club to be replaced by Colin Cameron and he did manage to improve the team, scoring plenty of goals in the process. If he had been in charge for the whole season then maybe they could have achieved more but that will be something to look forward to in the coming season.
Players in – Liam Dunn (Cowdenbeath), David Gold (Hibernian), Dean Horribine (Hibernian), Scott Maxwell (East Stirlingshire), Craig Wight (Free), Paul Willis (Free)
Players out – Dougie Brydon (Duns), Ross Drummond (End of loan), Michael Dunlop (End of loan), Damien Gielty (Free), Kenny O’Brien (Vale of Leithen)
What they still need – Berwick are really short in the middle of their defence. They have players who can play there but they lack cover and competition. If they can get that position sorted it would make a huge difference to them. Cameron is still maybe trying to find the right balance in the team but the defence looks very light at the moment.
Key player – With the defence looking light it will fall to one of the central defenders to lead the back line this year. Stephen Tulloch is a player who continues to impress and is a solid and reliable defender. His performances last year were excellent and the fans will hope for more of the same from him this season.
Opinion on Berwick – There is no doubting the quality in this squad. Going forward Berwick have some really talented midfielders and strikers. They will definitely score goals in League Two and should be looking towards the upper end of the table and the playoffs. What might let them down is the lack of quality at the back and also the depth in their squad. If they were to suffer a few injuries or suspensions it could hit the team hard.
Prediction for this season – 5th