Scottish League Two ins and out - summer 2017

Montrose's Sean Dillon (right) battles with Hibs' Simon Murray
Former Dundee United captain Sean Dillon (right) has joined Montrose

Derek Riordan, fellow former Scotland forwards David Goodwillie and Craig Beattie, now Ashley Grimes joins the famous names to have looked to resurrect or prolong their careers in Scottish League Two.

Only this isn't Ashley Grimes, the former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland full-back, who is now 60 but the way. Although this Ashley Grimes did start his career in the Old Trafford academy, the 30-year-old forward who has signed for Edinburgh City has had a less illustrious career in places like Rochdale and, most recently, Southport.

Unfortunately for fans of troubled but skilled enigma Riordan, the 34-year-old's latest short spell of activity ended with three goals in seven games at the tail-end of last season with City, where Beattie is battling on in a less familiar defensive role.

City courted controversy themselves this summer by bringing former Hearts full-back Craig Thomson back to senior football for the first time since he was convicted of a sex offence in 2011.

It mirrored the move by Clyde last season to sign Goodwillie, who had been ruled a rapist after a civil court trial, and the striker repaid their decision to help with his "rehabilitation" by helping the Cumbernauld club avoid dropping out of the senior leagues via the play-offs and by signing a longer-term deal.

Clyde have also been involved in one of the most intriguing transfer merry-go-rounds of the summer, with new manager Jim Chapman bringing with him nine of his squad from previous club Annan Athletic. Veteran defender Kevin Rutkiewicz has travelled in the opposite direction to become assistant to Chapman's successor, Peter Murphy.

Veteran defenders Sean Dillon and David McCracken have gone from captaining teams involved in the Premiership play-offs to playing in Scotland's fourth tier. Dillon has become player-coach at Montrose, while McCracken has joined Peterhead.

Annan Athletic

Annan Athletic

Peter Murphy has swapped defensive duties with Ayr United to take over from Jim Chapman as manager - and lost half the squad his predecessor led into the promotion play-offs.

Murphy has himself taken five players from neighbours Queen of the South, while he has brought former Hearts and St Johnstone midfielder Ryan Stevenson, with whom he played at Somerset Park, back into senior football from Troon Juniors.

Manager: Peter Murphy (appointed Joe 2017)

In: Peter Murphy, manager/defender (Ayr United); Kevin Rutkiewicz, defender/assistant manager (Clyde); Scott Hooper, defender (Queen of the South); Jim Atkinson, goalkeeper (Queen of the South); Aidan Smith, forward (Queen of the South, loan to permanent); Owen Moxon, midfielder (Queen of the South); Ryan Sinnamon, defender (Elgin City); Aryton Sonkur, midfielder (Queen of the South); Alex Mitchell, goalkeeper (Workington); Ryan Stevenson, midfielder (Troon); James Creaney, defender (Kilbirnie Ladeside); Dan Orsi, midfielder (Glenafton Athletic); Jack Brannan, defender (Gretna 2008); Ellis Pearson, defender (Gretna 2008). Loan: Brandon Luke, midfielder (Dunfermline Athletic); John Cunningham, forward (Alloa Athletic).

Out: Jim Chapman, manager (Clyde); Smart Osadolor, forward (Clyde); Darren Ramsay, midfielder (Clyde, compensation); Barry Cuddihy, midfielder (Clyde, compensation); Max Wright, forward (Clyde); Blair Currie, goalkeeper (Clyde); Przemyslaw Dachnowicz, midfielder (Clyde); Jordan Brown, midfielder (Clyde); Callum Home, defender (Clyde); Stephen Bronsky, defender (Elgin City); Steven Black, defender (Gretna 2008); David McKenna, forward (Beith); Peter Weatherson, forward (retired); Gavin Skelton, midfielder (retired); Adam Asghar, midfielder; Jean Guy Lucas, defender; Aaron Bradbury, midfielder; Stewart Sharkey, defender.

Last season: 3rd

Prediction: 7th

Berwick Rangers

Berwick Rangers

The Wee Rangers had the worst defensive record in the league last season, were dragged into the relegation battle and manager John Coughlin was sacked after three league games of this campaign.

They have mainly signed young players on loan from Premiership clubs and another season at the wrong end of the table beckons unless they have unearthed some gems.

Manager: Post vacant.

In: Aaron Murrell, forward (Dundee United); Kieran Stewart, midfielder (Elgin City); Chris McDonald, defender (Whitley Bay); Oliver Fleming, defender (Sauchie). Loan: Andrew Irving, midfielder (Hearts); Robby McCrorie, goalkeeper (Rangers); Callum Donaldson, defender (Hibernian); Kevin Waugh, defender (Hibernian); Marcus Godinho, defender (Hearts).

Out: John Coughlin, manager; David Verlaque, defender (Edinburgh City); ; Lee Hamilton, defender (Stirling Albion); Grant Goodfellow, goalkeeper; Renne Donkor, defender; Ricardo Kessels, midfielder; Ali McDonald, defender; Ethan Anderson, defender; Cameron Dickson, defender; Kieran Ingram, midfielder; Jamie Henderson, forward; Kevin Walker, goalkeeper; Euan Bauld, defender; Calum Helm, forward; Michael Dunlop, defender; Ricardo Leao Kessels, forward (Wilhelmina 08). Loan ended: Robbie McCrorie, goalkeeper (Rangers); Devlin Mackay, goalkeeper (Kilmarnock); Sean McKirdy, midfielder (Hamilton Academical).

Last season: 8th

Prediction: 10th



The Bully Wee's slump from promotion contenders to relegation play-off scrap last season led to departure of Barry Ferguson and then the management team of Peter MacDonald and JP McGovern that succeeded him.

Veteran striker MacDonald took with him the second-best goals total last season, while talented winger Dylan Easton exited after nearly a season out injured.

But the Cumbernauld club will hope that the nine players who arrived from Annan with new manager Jim Chapman can help them at least match the Black and Golds' third place.

Manager: Jim Chapman (appointed May 2017)

In: Jim Chapman, manager (Annan Athletic); Jack Breslin, defender (Hamilton Academical); Jordan Stewart, defender (St Mirren); Lewis Wilson (Alloa Athletic); Smart Osadolor, forward (Annan Athletic); Darren Ramsay, midfielder (Annan Athletic, compensation); Barry Cuddihy, midfielder (Annan Athletic, compensation); Max Wright, forward (Annan Athletic); Blair Currie, goalkeeper (Annan Athletic); Przemyslaw Dachnowicz, midfielder (Annan Athletic); Callum Home, defender (Annan Athletic); Jordan Brown, midfielder (Annan Athletic); Kevin Nicoll, midfielder (Petershill); Darren Miller, midfielder (Colville Park Amateurs); Jack Harrison, defender (East Kilbride); Mark Burbidge (Clydebank). Loan: Kyle Bradley, defender (Rangers); Mark Lamont, midfielder (Partick Thistle); Peter Morrison, goalkeeper (Motherwell); Andrew Munro, defender (Forfar Athletic).

Out: Dylan Easton, midfielder (Forfar Athletic); Sean Higgins, forward (Albion Rovers); Ross Perry, defender (Albion Rovers); Scott McLaughlin, midfielder (Albion Rovers); Scott Linton, midfielder (East Fife); Peter MacDonald, forward/co-caretaker manager (Stirling Albion); JP McGovern, midfielder/co-caretaker manager (Elgin City); Kevin Rutkiewicz, defender (Annan Athletic); Ewan McNeil, defender (Stirling Albion); John Gibson, goalkeeper (Petershill); Marc McKenzie, midfielder (Arthurlie); Michael Oliver, defender (Kirkintilloch Rob Roy); Jordan McMillan, defender; Ryan Finnie, midfielder; Ilies Belkacem, goalkeeper; Conor Quinn, goalkeeper; Chris Smith, defender; Phil Johnston, defender. Loan: Aaron Millar (St Roch's); Robbie Davidson (Thorniewood United); Ronan Sweeney (Thorniewood United); Jordan Brown (Vale of Clyde); Lewis Warnock (Vale of Clyde); Przemyslaw Dachnowicz (Kilsyth Rangers); Jack Harrison (Kilsyth Rangers); Christopher Martin (Kilsyth Rangers).

Last season: 9th

Prediction: 5th



Despite a late revival under Gary Locke, Cowdenbeath only managed to avoid relegation by the skin of their teeth via a penalty shoot-out win over Lowland League champions East Kilbride.

Locke has since departed to become a club ambassador at Hearts and successor Billy Brown, who was assistant, will be hoping to continue the upward trend despite the loss of experienced men like midfielder Burton O'Brien.

Manager: Billy Brown (appointed July 2017)

In: John Ovenstone, defender/assistant manager (Tayport); Jack Whittaker, midfielder (Kilmarnock); Matthew McInally, defender (Partick Thistle); Robbie Buchanan, forward (Hearts, loan to permanent); Alasdair Smith, midfielder (Hibernian); Brad Smith, midfielder (Dundee United); David Syme, defender (Raith Rovers); Joe McGovern, goalkeeper (Forfar Athletic); Josh Morris, forward (Hawick Royal Albert); Blair Penman, goalkeeper (AM Soccer).

Out: Gary Locke, manager; Jamie Sneddon, goalkeeper (Partick Thistle); Kris Renton, forward (Alloa Athletic); Craig Johnston, forward (Montrose); Kenny Adamson, defender (Kelty Hearts); Burton O'Brien, midfielder; Gary Glen, forward; Gerry McLauchlan, defender; Brian Ross, midfielder; Matthew Rooney, forward. Loan ended: Lewis Moore, midfielder (Hearts).

Last season: 10th

Prediction: 8th

Edinburgh City

Edinburgh City

The Citizens looked to be taking a quick passport back out of the senior leagues for much of their debut season until finding their shooting boots late on.

Former Scotland forward Derek Riordan has departed after his late entry on the scene, while veteran defender Joe Mbu has retired and striker Ouzy See sold to Forfar Athletic.

Among the interesting new faces is Zdravko Karadachki, a Bulgarian midfielder who was last with Scarborough in the Canadian Soccer League. But he and his team-mates won't be at Meadowbank Stadium, with City groundsharing this season with Spartans at Ainslie Park while their home base is being redeveloped.

Manager: Gary Jardine (appointed 2010)

In: Ashley Grimes, forward (Southport); Zdravko Karadachki, midfielder (Scarborough); Gareth Rodger, defender (Brechin City); Gavin Malin, midfielder (Arbroath); David Verlaque, defender (Berwick Rangers); Craig Thomson, midfielder (Kelty Hearts); Moses Olanrejawu, forward (Sauchie); Calum Hall, defender (Hibernian). Loan: Lewis Allan, forward (Hibernian); Sean Mackie, defender (Hibernian); Ian Smith, forward (Dundee); Andrew Blake, defender (Hibernian); Stuart Morrison, defender (Dunfermline Athletic).

Out: Ouzy See, forward (Forfar Athletic, undisclosed); Neil Martyniuk, defender (Bonnyrigg Rose); Ian McFarland, midfielder (Spartans); Dean Cummings, midfielder (Lothian Thistle); Andrew Stobie, goalkeeper (Spartans); Ross Guthrie, midfielder (Spartans); Derek Riordan, forward; Joe Mbu, defender; Dougie Gair, midfielder (retired); Serge Makofo, midfielder; Nico Gibson, midfielder; Mark McConnell, midfielder; Gordon Donaldson, defender. Loan ended: Aaron Dunsmore, defender (Hibernian).

Last season: 7th

Prediction: 6th

Elgin City

Elgin City

A late collapse in form meant Elgin missed out on the promotion play-offs. Their slide coincided with the loss of Shane Sutherland, who still ended up as the league's top scorer.

Calum Ferguson, another former Inverness Caledonian Thistle striker, has arrived from Albion Rovers as a replacement with Sutherland still sidelined and City losing their four League Cup games.

Manager: Jim Weir (appointed November 2014)

In: Jordan Allan, midfielder (Coleraine); Cameron Eadie, defender (Falkirk); Calum Ferguson, forward (Albion Rovers); Jon Paul McGovern, midfielder (Clyde); Stephen Bronsky, defender (Annan Athletic); Ross McKinnon, defender (Kilbirnie Ladeside). Loan: Bruce Anderson, forward (Aberdeen); Lewis Strapp, defender (Greenock Morton).

Out: Kieran Stewart, midfielder (Berwick Rangers); Ryan Sinnamon, defender (Annan Athletic); Daniel Moore, midfielder (Rothes); Craig Gunn, forward (Brora Rangers); Archie Macphee, defender (Formartine United) Mark Nicolson, defender (Brora Rangers); Robbie Bruce, midfielder; Errol Watson, goalkeeper; Ben Cullen, midfielder.

Last season: 5th

Prediction: 9th



Stewart Petrie replaced Paul Hegarty as manager midway through last season and not only steered the Gable Endies away from relegation trouble but into the promotion play-offs.

With the arrival of veteran defender Sean Dillon, who captained Dundee United in last season's Premiership play-off, as player-coach, Montrose will be dreaming of exiting the bottom division for the first time in 20 years.

Manager: Stewart Petrie (appointed December 2016)

In: Sean Dillon, defender (Dundee United); Matthew Allan, defender (Dundee); Connor McLaren, forward (St Johnstone); Jamie Redman, midfielder (Peterhead); Martyn Fotheringham, midfielder (Forfar Athletic); Danny Cavanagh, forward (Broughty Athletic); Craig Johnston, forward (Cowdenbeath); Dean Brett, defender (Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic). Loan: Cammy Ballantyne, defender (Dundee United).

Out: Adam Harwood, defender (Carnoustie Panmure); Chris Hegarty, defender; Ross Campbell, forward (retired); Kieran McWalter, midfielder; Greg Pascazio, defender; Gregor Anderson, defender; Declan Milne, forward; Kyle McLeod, forward; Lloyd Hester, midfielder; Callum MacDonald, defender; Kyle Willox, defender. Loan ended: Cammy Ballantyne, defender (Dundee United); Matty Smith, forward (Dundee United). Loan: Kyle Willox, defender (Deveronvale); Matty Wallace, midfielder (Deveronvale).

Last season: 4th

Prediction: 3rd



Peterhead went from play-off contenders for a place in the Championship to relegation in one season. Their manner of their heavy defeat by Forfar from the league below made the shock even harder to bear for manager Jim McInally.

But he has recruited well, with experienced wingers Willie Gibson and Paul Cairney chosen to provide the ammunition for forever reliable goalscorer Rory McAllister, while former Falkirk captain David McCracken will provide stability and leadership.

The Blue Toon will start as strong favourites, especially after playing their part in the downfall of Ian Cathro with a League Cup win over Hearts.

Manager: Jim McInally (appointed October 2011)

In: Mikael Ngango Dikobo, defender (Lokomotiva Zvolen); David McCracken, defender (Falkirk); Paul Cairney, midfielder (Ayr United); Greg Fleming, goalkeeper (Ayr United); Jason Brown, defender (Inverness Caledonian Thistle); Willie Gibson, midfielder (Stranraer); Mason Robertson, forward (Stenhousemuir); Russell McLean, forward (East Kilbride); Fraser Hobday, goalkeeper (Huntly); Samson Gabriel, midfielder (Rynninge).

Out: Craig Reid, defender (Ayr United); Grant Anderson, midfielder (Stranraer); Graeme Smith, goalkeeper (Raith Rovers); Steven Noble, defender (Stirling Albion); Jamie Redman, midfielder (Montrose); Nathan Blockley, midfielder (Stenhousemuir); Ryan Baptie, defender (Penicuik); Ryan Strachan, defender (Cove Rangers); Kevin Dzierzawski, midfielder; Leighton McIntosh, forward. Loan ended: Michael McMullin, midfielder (Partick Thistle); Liam Gordon, defender (St Johnstone).

Last season: 9th, League One

Prediction: 1st



Brown Ferguson has gone back to the drawing board after his side finished bottom of League One. Among the 27 exiting were former Motherwell defenders Fraser Kerr, who has joined Gateshead, and Jim Paterson, who has retired.

Included in the 13 arrivals are four who helped keep Albion Rovers in League One and two who were part of Arbroath's title-winning squad last season, so that suggests the Warriors should be contenders themselves this season.

Manager: Brown Ferguson (appointed February 2015)

In: Jamie Longworth, forward (Alloa Athletic); Lewis McMinn, goalkeeper (Falkirk); Mark McGuigan, forward (Stranraer); Ross Dunlop, midfielder (Albion Rovers), Michael Dunlop, defender (Albion Rovers); Mark Ferry, midfielder (Albion Rovers); Ross Gilmour, defender (Albion Rovers); Nathan Blockley, midfielder (Peterhead); Martin Scott, midfielder (Arbroath); Eddie Kearns, midfielder (Arbroath); Chris Smith, goalkeeper (Stirling Albion); Ruaridh Donaldson, defender (Bonnyrigg Rose). Loan: Harry Paton, midfielder (Hearts); Innes Murray, midfielder (Hibernian).

Out: Thomas Grant, midfielder (Alloa Athletic); Kieran Millar, midfielder (East Fife); Alan Cook (Alloa Athletic); Graham Bowman, goalkeeper (Albion Rovers); Mason Robertson, forward (Peterhead); Fraser Kerr, defender (Gateshead); Jamie McCormack, defender (East Stirlingshire); Jack Smith, forward (BSC Glasgow); Jim Paterson, defender (retired); Mark Gilhaney, midfielder (retired); David Crawford, goalkeeper; Stephen Stirling, midfielder; Willis Furtado, midfielder; Alan Docherty, midfielder; Liam McMaster, defender; Ciaran Summers, defender; Carlos Mazana, midfielder; Paul Nash, midfielder; Calum Runciman, midfielder; Grant Hamilton, midfielder; Liam McCroary, midfielder; Jack Smith, forward; Sean Robertson, goalkeeper; Vinnie Berry, midfielder. Loan ended: Alistair Roy, midfielder (Hearts); Oliver Shaw, forward (Hibernian).

Last season: 10th, League One

Prediction: 4th

Stirling Albion

Stirling Albion

Former St Johnstone defender Dave Mackay took charge in January and promptly led his side clear of relegation trouble and close to a promotion play-off place.

Former Saints team-mate Frazer Wright has retired, but among the new recruits is fellow veteran Peter MacDonald, who still managed to be the division's second top scorer last season with Clyde at the age of 36 and played his part as the Binos impressed in their League Cup group.

Manager: David Mackay (appointed November 2016)

In: Peter MacDonald, forward (Clyde); Steven Noble, defender (Peterhead); Ewan McNeil, defender (Clyde); Lee Hamilton, defender (Berwick Rangers). Loan: Callum Morrison, midfielder (Hearts), Mark Foden, goalkeeper (Ross County).

Out: Chris Smith, goalkeeper (Stenhousemuir); Ross Forsyth, defender (Clydebank); Jamie Mills, defender (BSC Glasgow); Ross McMillan, defender (BSC Glasgow); Frazer Wright, defender (retired); Alex Docherty, midfielder; Darren Petrie, midfielder; Jack McCue, midfielder. Loan ended: Dylan Bikey, forward (Hearts); Conor Quigley, defender (Dundee). Loan: Justin Watson, midfielder (Newmains United); Declyn Cumming, defender (Thorniewood United); Marc Innes, midfielder (Thorniewood United); Ryan Lockie, defender (Camelon); Brooklyn Mair, midfielder (Oakley United); Luke Martin, defender (Newmains United); Callum MacDonald, defender (Camelon); Reg McLaren, forward (Luncarty); Alberto Vezza, midfielder (Carluke Rovers); Dillon Young, defender (Wishaw).

Last season: 6th

Prediction: 2nd

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