Summary of last season – Montrose probably slightly over-achieved last year given the squad at their disposal. They were always mid-table and never really threatened to push into the top four in the league. Neither did they ever really flirt with the danger of finishing in the bottom couple of places. Those in charge decided that a change was needed in management so towards the end of the campaign manager Stuart Garden departed and George Shields took over with the remit of trying to push Montrose into the playoff spots for the coming season.
Players in – Stephen Day (Stirling Albion), Bryan Deasley (Forfar Athletic), Ross Graham (Dundonald Bluebell), Paul Harkins (Elgin City), Danny Kavanagh (Dundee), Declan O’Kane (Dunfermline Athletic – on loan), Stephen O’Neill (Aberdeen), Steven Robb (Brechin City)
Players out – Lewis Bonar (Free), Craig Duguid (Formartine United), David Gray (Clyde), Ricky McIntosh (Free)
What they still need – Despite making a number of additions the Montrose squad does not look as strong as the other teams that are challenging for promotion this year. Not enough has been spent on adding experience at the back and it is those defensive frailties that might be exploited through the season.
Key player(s) – Defensively Montrose do look weak so it falls to the forwards to bag the goals that might offset the goals they lose. Bryan Deasley is a very talented forward who’s career has not hit the heights that he might have expected so he has a point to prove. Montrose have made him a permanent addition to their squad and will be looking to him to become a reliable goalscorer this term.
Opinion on Montrose – Yes Montrose have added to their squad and yes the club wants to aim towards playoff spots this year but it doesn’t look like it will happen. They are still lacking at the back and it is this weakness at the back that will cost them this year. If they can get some points on the board early and if they can strengthen as the season goes on then maybe they can build something but right now it looks like that will be difficult.
Prediction for this season – 9th
Summary of last season – Dear oh dear. One of the poorest seasons in living memory for Queens’ Park and one that the term embarrassing doesn’t do justice. The Spiders limped through the season from one defeat to the next and became almost resigned to their fate from the moment the season started. Long serving manager Gardner Speirs left the club in the worst possible way and it was a real shame his reign ended in a season like that one. Gus MacPherson was made the permanent appointment but even he couldn’t change the fate of this club finishing bottom by some distance. An utterly woeful season for everyone connected to Queen’s Park.
Players in – Vince Berry (Clydebank), John Carter (Greenock Juniors), Kevin Fotheringham (Bannockburn Amateurs), Shaun Fraser (Irvine Meadow), Ross Gallacher (Pollok Amateurs), David MacGregor (Stranraer), Ciaran McElroy (Clydebank), Ross McPherson (Clydebank), David McWilliams (Campsie Black Watch), Darren Miller (Irvine Meadow), William Muir (Shotts Bon Accord), Bryan Wharton (Shotts Bon Accord), Paul Woods (Petershill)
Players out – David Anderson (Free), Lucas Birnstingl (Airdrieonians), Eamonn Brophy (End of Loan), James Brough (Troon), Kris Gebbie (Free), Liam Gormley (East Kilbride), Micheal Keenan (Irvine Meadow), Grant Mosson (Free), Blair Spittal (Dundee United), Craig Sutherland (Cowdenbeath), Joao Vitoria (East Kilbride), Tony Wallace (End of Loan)
What they still need – Forget about individual players, even in some respect forget about the team. Queen’s Park simply need to try and get a better feeling in and around the club. Fans will still be reeling from last year so anything to lift the spirits at Queens Park will be a huge boost.
Key player(s) – Given the massive turnaround in players it is difficult to pick out one key player. Most of the new signings have no experience at SPFL level and most will be a completely unknown quantity. However one name that does standout simply due to their experience is David MacGregor. At 33 and with nearly 300 league games under his belt his influence will be vital in this completely new side. The central defender will be given the task of marshalling his defence and keeping people in check.
Opinion on Queen’s Park – Nothing could be as bad as last year but the worry for this club is that a huge amount of damage has been done and it will take time to repair the deep wounds inflicted to this Scottish institution. Gus MacPherson is an experienced coach who knows what he is doing but signing so many players with very little experience might backfire and this could be another very tough year for Queen’s Park.
Prediction for this season – 10th