Scottish League One ins and outs - summer 2016
Rangers two years ago and Dunfermline Athletic last season ran away with the Scottish League One title thanks largely to their respective spending powers.
Having decided to remain a full-time club after their relegation, Livingston will be hoping to do likewise but will be hampered somewhat by continued financial uncertainties that have led to the West Lothian outfit being dragged through the courts.
Manager David Hopkins has grabbed three players from an Airdrieonians side that finished last season strongly in League One, plus midfielder Liam Watt, who was the Diamonds' top scorer until he finished the season on loan to Brechin City after indicating he would not renew his contract.
Airdrieonians' own situation is not ideal, with manager Eddie Wolecki Black still recovering from a stroke and first-team coach Kevin McBride, the former Dundee and Hibernian midfielder, taking day-to-day control after Danny Lennon stepped in as temporary boss at the end of last season.
But they have shown their ambition by going full-time and putting an emphasis on developing young players.
A couple of well-known faces with top-flight experience are prolonging the twilight of their careers by stepping down to Scotland's third tier.
Irish midfielder Jim Goodwin has joined Alloa Athletic after his long association with St Mirren came to an end, while former Hearts and Hamilton Accies striker Christian Nade has joined Stranraer from Dumbarton.
Having taken over at Alloa in December, Ross Jack was unable to lift his part-time side off the bottom of the Championship, but he has now assembled an almost completely new squad of players who have mainly proven themselves at this level.
Such rebuilding is par for the course for Queen's Park, the amateurs usually finding their best players being attracted to professional rivals. That is heightened when, as is the case this time round, they have shown their worth by winning promotion, but head coach Gus MacPherson has been able to keep most of his squad intact and looked to the junior ranks to find replacements.
East Fife have the most high-profile manager in the division and former Scotland full-back Gary Naysmith has managed to keep most of his League Two-winning squad together, with former Hearts and Kilmarnock midfielder Scott Robinson being among the summer additions after ending last season playing as an amateur with Dunfermline.
Last season: 5th
Manager: Eddie Wolecki Black
Verdict: 4th. The Diamonds have lost a third of a team to League One rivals Livingston and, in the absence through illness of Eddie Wolecki Black, first-team coach Kevin McBride will do well to have his side challenging for the promotion play-off places, but the advantage of full-time football should be enough to keep them in the hunt.
In: Jack Leitch, midfielder (Motherwell); Ryan Conroy, midfielder (Queen of the South); Iain Russell, forward (Queen of the South); James Daly, midfielder (Athlone Town); Andy Ryan, forward (Forfar Athletic); Joe Gorman, defender (Maidenhead United); Kevin Schmidt, forward (East Kilbride). Loan: Conor Scullion, midfielder (Hamilton Academical).
Out: Daniel Boateng (Sodertalje); Caolan McAleer, midfielder (Greenock Morton); Neil Parry, goalkeeper (Alloa Athletic); Liam Watt, midfielder (Livingston); Nicky Cadden, midfielder (Livingston); Sean Crighton, defender (Livingston); Alan Lithgow, defender (Livingston); Chris O'Neil, defender (Brechin City); Bryan Prunty, forward (Arbroath); David Cox, forward (Forfar Athletic); Jim Lister, forward (Forfar Athletic); Jamie Bain, midfielder (Forfar Athletic); Jack McCue, midfielder (Stirling Albion); Jacob Esposito, defender; Caolan McAllen, midfielder; Jordan Morton, midfielder; Kyle Richford, forward; Macaulay Wilson, midfielder. Loan ended: Dylan Mackin, forward (Motherwell); David Ferguson, defender (Motherwell).
Last season: 6th
Player/manager: Darren Young
Verdict: 7th. Darren Young built a side who have over-achieved in the last couple of seasons considering their resources and he will do well to again steer them clear of relegation trouble.
In: Steven Boyd, midfielder (Hamilton Academical); Calum Ferguson, forward (Inverness Caledonian Thistle); Ryan Wallace, forward (Dunfermline Athletic); Ross Gilmour, defender (East Stirlingshire); Ross Stewart, forward (Kilwinning Rangers).
Out: Ally Love, forward (Brechin City); Callum McRobbie, forward (Cumnock); Andy Barrowman, forward; Yves-Marie Kerjean, defender; Ricardo Talu, defender; Blair Lochhead, goalkeeper. Loan ended: Spas Georgiev, midfielder (Livingston); Darren Petrie, midfielder (Raith Rovers).
Last season: 10th, Scottish Championship
Manager: Jack Ross
Verdict: 1st. Jack Ross has shown his aptitude in recruiting some of the best part-time talent in Scotland, such as in-form striker Greig Spence, and the experience of veteran midfielder Jim Goodwin has also helped establish the Wasps as early favourites to go straight back to the Championship.
In: Calum Waters, defender (Celtic); Jim Goodwin, midfielder (St Mirren); Kevin Cawley, forward (Dumbarton); Scott Taggart, defender (Dumbarton); Jordan Kirkpatrick, midfielder (Dumbarton); Greig Spence, forward (Cowdenbeath); Jamie Longworth, forward (Stranraer); Andy Graham, defender (Ayr United); Neil Parry, goalkeeper (Airdrieonians); Jon Robertson, midfielder (Stenhousemuir); Craig McDowall, goalkeeper (unattached). Loan: Luke Donnelly, forward (Celtic); Ben Gordon, defender (St Mirren).
Out: David Crawford, goalkeeper (Partick Thistle); Scott Gallacher, goalkeeper (St Mirren); Mark Williams, defender (Queen's Park); Burton O'Brien, midfielder (Cowdenbeath); Dougie Hill, defender (Brechin City); Aron Lynas, midfielder (Brechin City); Colin Hamilton, defender (Arbroath); Eddie Ferns, forward (Stirling Albion); Ryan Finnie, defender (Annan Athletic); Mitch Megginson, forward (Cove Rangers); Kyle McAusland, defender. Loan ended: Scott McKenna, defender (Aberdeen); Conor McManus, midfielder (Celtic); Michael Duffy, forward (Celtic); Robbie Crawford, forward (Rangers). Loan: Isaac Layne, forward (Stirling Albion); Scott Hynd, forward (Montrose).
Last season: 7th
Player/manager: Darren Dodds
Verdict: 6th. Despite the loss of striker Robert Thomson to Dumbarton, Darren Dods has managed to strengthen with players of experience at this level a squad that finished last season superbly - and that should stand Brechin in good stead as they look to at least stay clear of the relegation trouble of last season.
In: Dougie Hill, defender (Alloa Athletic); Aron Lynas, midfielder (Alloa Athletic); Elliot Ford, defender (Raith Rovers); Alan Trouten, midfielder (Ayr United): Ross Caldwell, forward (Cowdenbeath); Ally Love, forward (Albion Rovers); Chris O'Neil, defender (Airdrieonians); Gareth Rodger, defender (Forfar Athletic); Finn Graham, midfielder (Berwick Rangers).
Out: Robert Thomson, forward (Dumbarton); Ross Perry, defender (Clyde); Craig Molloy, midfielder (Hurlford United); Kevin Buchan, forward (Cove Rangers); David Weatherston, forward; Jonathan Tiffany, defender; Liam Coogans, midfielder; Craig Johnston, forward. Loan ended: Liam Watt, midfielder (Airdrieonians); Scott Shepherd, forward (Falkirk); Lewis Spence, midfielder (Dunfermline Athletic).
Last season: Champions, Scottish League Two
Manager: Gary Naysmith
Verdict: 8th. East Fife eventually emerged victorious from a four-team fight at the top of League Two to become champions and Gary Naysmith has added well enough to his squad in the summer to ensure that they could be involved at the top end in the league above.
In: Chris Duggan, forward (Partick Thistle); Scott Robinson, midfielder (Dunfermline Athletic); Chris Kane, defender (Cowdenbeath); Mark Lamont, midfielder (Stirling Albion); Tony Wallace, midfielder (Nairn County); Ross Mutch, midfielder (AM Soccer Club). Loan: Mark Hurst, goalkeeper (St Johnstone); Jason Kerr, defender (St Johnstone); Jamie Insall, forward (Hibernian); Kevin O'Hara, forward (Falkirk).
Out: Willie Muir, goalkeeper (Queen's Park); Fraser Mullen, midfielder (Cowdenbeath); Declan O'Kane, midfielder (Musselburgh Athletic); Craig Murray, midfielder; Steven Campbell, defender. Loan ended: Nathan Austin (Falkirk); Jamie Insall, forward (Hibernian); Ali Coote, midfielder (Dundee United); Liam Kelly, goalkeeper (Rangers).
Last season: 9th, Scottish Championship
Head coach: David Hopkin
Verdict: 2nd. Following relegation, Livingston lost striker Jordan White to National League outfit Wrexham and defender Ben Gordon to St Mirren, but David Hopkin has added some quality, such as former Kilmarnock striker Dale Carrick and midfielder Liam Watt from Airdrieonians. If Livi can steer clear of the financial woes of recent seasons, full-time football should make them one of the favourites for the title.
In: Dale Carrick, forward (Kilmarnock); Michael Miller, defender (Greenock Morton); Jordan Sinclair, midfielder (Hibernian); Shaun Byrne, midfielder (Dunfermline Athletic); Liam Watt, midfielder (Airdrieonians); Nicky Cadden, midfielder (Airdrieonians); Sean Crighton, defender (Airdrieonians); Alan Lithgow, defender (Airdrieonians); Gary Maley, goalkeeper (Broxburn). Loan: Liam Kelly, goalkeeper (Rangers); Lewis Allan, forward (Hibernian); Thomas Orr, forward (Greenock Morton).
Out: Ben Gordon, defender (St Mirren); Jordan White, forward (Wrexham); Spas Georgiev, midfielder (Dunav); Matt Gould, goalkeeper (Stourbridge); Gary Glen, forward (Cowdenbeath); Jordyn Sheerin, forward (Berwick Rangers); Craig Sives, defender (Cowdenbeath, loan to permanent); Kieran Gibbons, midfielder (East Kilbride); Darren Jamieson, goalkeeper; Darren Cole, defender; Mark Fotheringham, midfielder (retired); Marc McCallum, goalkeeper. Loan ended: Charlie Telfer, midfielder (Dundee United); Sam Stanton, midfielder (Hibernian); Osman Kakay, defender (Queens Park Rangers); Thomas Orr, forward (Greenock Morton). Loan: Darren Jamieson, goalkeeper (Bo'ness Utd).
Last season: 3rd
Manager: Jim McInally
Verdict: 5th. Jim McInally continues to defy the odds stacked against clubs wanting to recruit players so far north and has managed to keep most of a squad together who made the promotion play-offs last season despite a terrible end-of-season run. However, the Blue Toon will need Rory McAllister to again contribute his tally of goals should they wish to be challenging up the top end once more.
In: Scott Brown, midfielder (St Johnstone); Stefan McCluskey, midfielder (Greenock Morton); Scott Rumsby, defender (Stranraer); Salim Nassor, midfielder (Ternana); Hugh Samuels, defender (Cobham). Loan: Fiacre Kelleher, defender (Celtic); Fraser Hobday, goalkeeper (Huntly).
Out: Scott Ferries, midfielder (Southwest Florida Adrenaline); Shane Sutherland, forward (Elgin City); Paul Jarvie, goalkeeper. Loan ended: Ally Gilchrist (St Johnstone). Loan: Andy Rodgers, forward (East Stirlingshire); Marc Lawrence, midfielder (Fraserburgh).
Last season: 4th, Scottish League Two
Head coach: Gus MacPherson
Verdict: 9th. Queen's Park normally go straight back down after promotion and only succeeded in the play-offs despite finishing fourth in League Two. Gus MacPherson has looked to the junior ranks to build a squad capable of competing in League One, but the amateurs are likely to face another tough battle to stay up.
In: Marc Waters, goalkeeper (Partick Thistle); Mark Williams, defender (Alloa Athletic); Willie Muir, goalkeeper (East Fife); Ross Millen, defender (Clyde); Josh Watt, midfielder (Stenhousemuir); Adam Cummins, defender (Bangor City); Andrew Murphy, goalkeeper (Fauldhouse United); Gregor Fotheringham, defender (Camelon); Darren Miller, midfielder (Kilbirnie Ladeside); Anton Brady, forward (East Kilbride); Aiden Malone, forward (Cumnock); Josh Watt, midfielder (Cumnock).
Out: Vinnie Berry, midfielder (Stenhousemuir); James Baty, midfielder (Dalbeattie Star); Ciaran McElroy, midfielder (Kilbirnie Lakeside); Conor O'Boyle, goalkeeper (St Roch's); Mark Williams, defender; Sam George, goalkeeper; Bryan Wharton, defender; Kenny MacKay, forward; Ryan Hines, forward; Connor McVey, midfielder; Cammy Marlow, midfielder; Craig Melrose, goalkeeper; Ciaran McElroy, forward. Loan ended: Chris Duggan, forward (Partick Thistle); Scott Hooper, defender (Queen of the South).
Last season: 8th
Manager: Brown Ferguson
Verdict: 10th. Stenhousemuir will be hoping that some graduates from their much-praised youth system can come to Brown Ferguson's aid as they aim to end another season by avoiding relegation.
In: Scott Agnew, midfielder (St Mirren); Fraser Kerr, defender (Cowdenbeath); Vinnie Berry, midfielder (Queen's Park); David Sinclair, midfielder (Bo'ness United); Jack Smith, forward (East Kilbride). Loan: Colin McCabe, goalkeeper (Celtic); Alistair Roy, forward (Heart of Midlothian); Oliver Shaw, forward (Hibernian).
Out: Jason Scotland, forward (retired); Jamie Barclay, goalkeeper (Dumbarton); Jon Robertson, midfielder (Alloa Athletic); Josh Watt, midfielder (Queen's Park); Stuart Malcolm, defender (Forfar Athletic); Allan Smith, forward (Forfar Athletic); Dean Shaw, goalkeeper (East Stirlingshire); Anthony Marenghi, midfielder (East Kilbride); Carlos Mazana, midfielder; Euan Murray, defender. Loan ended: Liam Henderson, midfielder (Heart of Midlothian); Colin McCabe, goalkeeper (Celtic); Graham Bowman, goalkeeper (Falkirk).
Last season: 4th
Manager: Brian Reid
Verdict: 3rd. Brian Reid's side came close to promotion last season via the play-offs and the addition of the experienced Christian Nade up front could have the Blues challenging again.
In: Christian Nade, forward (Dumbarton); Scott Agnew, midfielder (St Mirren); Cameron Belford, goalkeeper (Wrexham, loan to permanent); Frank McKeown, defender (Greenock Morton); Liam Dick, defender (St Mirren, loan to permanent); Giuliano Morena, midfielder (Romagna Centro); Smart Osadolor, forward (Annan Athletic); Ross Barbour, defender (Kirkintilloch Rob Roy). Loan: Craig Thomson, midfielder (St Johnstone); Luke Watt, defender (Motherwell).
Out: Paul Cairney, midfielder (Ayr United); Andy Stirling, midfielder (Dumbarton); Craig Pettigrew, defender (Dumbarton); Jamie Longworth, forward (Alloa Athletic); Scott Rumsby, defender (Peterhead); Chris Aitken, midfielder (retired, now assistant manager); Lee Mair, defender; Ross Barbour, defender (Troon); Dale Keenan, midfielder (Troon); Peter McGill, midfielder.