Summary of last season – A very positive one for Clyde. They surprised more than a few people when they finished 4th and in the playoffs. They did lose to East Fife but even being there was an achievement for a team that caused more than a few upsets last term. Under Jim Duffy the Clyde team were enjoyable to watch and produced some excellent performances on their way to the playoffs. Duffy did leave at the end of the season and he was replaced by one of the surprises of the summer in Barry Ferguson. The former Rangers man will relish the challenge facing him with his new team.
Players in – Scott Durie (East Fife), Barry Ferguson (Blackpool – player-manager), David Gray (Montrose), Scott McManus (Vale of Clyde), David Sinclair (BÍ/Bolungarvík)
Players out – Grant Dickie (Free), Bradley Coyne (Free), Neil Janczyk (Penicuik Athletic), Ryan MacBeth (Free), Kieran MacDonald (Hamilton Academical), Stefan McCluskey (Greenock Morton), Kieran McGachie (Free)
What they still need – Ferguson is very much still trying things out and figuring out his best shape and team so any further additions might be more in the January window rather than right now. This Clyde team looks pretty well balanced right now and Ferguson will be keen to work with a settled squad over the next few months.
Key player(s) – Fans have been delighted with the early impact of new signing Scott McManus and it looks like he might have a really good season for Clyde. The striker has already shown his ability and he will be aiming to be amongst the top scorers in the league. On another note it will be very interesting to see if and when Barry Ferguson plays this year how he will do.
Opinion on Clyde – Clyde will surprise people again this year. Maybe more so down to the appointment of Ferguson. He will relish this opportunity and will carry on the good work Jim Duffy put in place last season. They are a free flowing and attacking side so expect them to score a large number of goals this year. If they do begin to struggle it will be interesting to see how Ferguson copes, but right now it looks like they will be challenging at the top during this campaign.
Prediction for this season – 3rd
Summary of last season – It is maybe not an understatement to say that East Fife’s season was a bit of a shambles. A side that should have performed so much better they found themselves relegated from League One via the playoffs. Willie Aitchison started the season in charge but made very little impact as a manger and just couldn’t get the team going. Former Scotland internationalist Gary Naysmith arrived at the club after Aitchison’s departure but he couldn’t turn around what was by this point a sinking ship. The season fell away and Naysmith was left to wonder what needs to be done to get them out of their new home in League Two.
Players in – Jamie Beaton (Hibernian), Ross Campbell (Forfar Athletic), Alan Cook (Arbroath), Allan Fleming (Kelty Hearts), Caolan McAleer (Partick Thistle), Jon McShane (Celtic Nation), Ewan Moyes (Brechin City), Fraser Mullen (Raith Rovers), Scott Smith (Dumbarton), Allan Walker (Brechin City)
Players out – Liam Buchanan (Alloa Athletic), Pat Clarke (Free), David Cowan (Free), Scott Durie (Clyde), Gary Fisher (Albion Rovers), Stephen Hughes (End of loan), Bruce Inkango (Free), Craig Johnstone (Arbroath), Marc McKenzie (Albion Rovers), Joe Mbu (Edinburgh City), Scott McBride (Arbroath), Stephen O’Neill (End of loan), Greg Paterson (Stirling Albion), Ryan Stewart (Free), Johnny Stewart (Bonnyrigg Rose), Gary Thom (Linlithgow Rose), Connor Shaw (East Stirling)
What they still need – Just looking at the arrivals and departures it is easy to see just how much of a change this squad has undergone. Naysmith has probably finished most of his business although needs another central defender. The importance now for East Fife is not new signings but getting this team playing together and playing well.
Key player – It is difficult to pinpoint one player given the number of new signings so a couple of players to look out for this season will be midfielder Caolan McAleer and fullback Fraser Mullen. Both of these players (along with a couple of others) probably should be playing at a higher level so their ability will shine through in this division and should help East Fife with their title challenge.
Opinion on East Fife – It is always a gamble ripping apart a squad and starting again but it looks like East Fife will be amongst the title challengers this year. They will have a manager desperate to right the wrongs from last year and a squad that on paper looks good enough to get some good results in this division. The most important thing for East Fife is getting off to a good start. If they didn’t it could seriously affect confidence in the squad. Expect them to be battling it out for promotion this season.
Prediction for this season – 2nd