Scottish League Two ins and out - summer 2014

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport
Clyde player-manager Barry Ferguson

Former Scotland captain Barry Ferguson switching from Blackpool to Clyde as player-manager has thrust Scotland's League Two back into the spotlight two seasons after his former club, Rangers, left their financial and publicity mark behind.

Ferguson replaced Jim Duffy, who left for Greenock Morton, as four of the division's 10 clubs prepare to start the season under new management.

Former Aberdeen and Dunfermline Athletic midfielder Darren Young is the fresh managerial face with Albion Rovers, replacing James Ward, and the experienced Sandy Clark has become his assistant after his departure from Kilmarnock.

Former Morton manager Allan Moore has taken over at relegated Arbroath after Paul Sheerin joined the coaching staff at Premiership outfit Aberdeen.

Dundee United defender Blair Spittal
Blair Spittal has started pre-season training with Dundee United after exiting Queen's Park

George Shields has been confirmed as the new manager of Montrose after ending the season as caretaker following the departure of while former Scotland defender Lee Wilkie has come in as assistant from junior outfit Lochee United.

Relegated East Fife have also been affected at coaching level, with manager Gary Naysmith losing Robbie Neilson to Hearts as well as experienced assistant Paul Hegarty.

On the playing front, not many have taken a major step up following their exploits last season, the exceptions being Blair Spittal, who left Queen's Park for Dundee United, and Kieran MacDonald, who exited Clyde for Hamilton Academical.

United will be hoping that 18-year-old defender Spittal proves to be as much of golden nugget as Andy Robertson, who made the same journey last season and ended it with the prospect of regularly playing at Hampden in front of thousands for Scotland instead of handfuls for the Spiders.

Ferguson took his time to assess his squad before the re-shaping finally took place with five signings and three exits over the final weekend of the transfer window to add to four earlier additions.

Apart from Arbroath and East Fife, where relegation has led to the typical squad restructuring, it is East Stirlingshire and Queen's Park who appear to have the most significant strides in the summer transfer window so far.

Albion Rovers

Albion Rovers

Key signing: John Gemmell is a seasoned campaigner - and goalscorer - at this level and the 29-year-old steps down a division from Stenhousemuir.

One that got away: Defensive stalwart Barry Russell, 25, won himself a move up a division to Stranraer.

Last season: 7th

Prediction: 1st. New manager Darren Young is putting together a strong-looking squad that could surprise many by becoming title contenders.

In: Darren Young, midfielder/manager (Alloa Athletic); Sandy Clark, assistant manager (Kilmarnock); Mark McGuigan, forward (Partick Thistle); Kieran Hughes, goalkeeper (St Mirren); Kyle Turnbull, defender (Livingston); John Gemmell, forward (Stenhousemuir); Gary Fisher, midfielder (East Fife); Marc McKenzie, forward (Cowdenbeath); Ally Love, defender (Annan Athletic); Ross McNeil, forward (Stenhousemuir); TJ McCluskey, midfielder (St Roch's); Jamie Pollock, midfielder (unattached).

Out: James Ward, manager; Barry Russell, defender (Stranraer); Ryan Donnelly, midfielder (Ayr United); Gary Phillips, midfielder; Matt McGinley, goalkeeper; Kevin Green, defender; Graeme Shepherd, goalkeeper; Pat Walker, forward; Ryan Tiffney, midfielder; Dom Kennedy, midfielder; Josh Flood, midfielder. Loan ended: Mark Shankland, midfielder (Ayr United); Mark McGuigan, forward (Partick Thistle).

Annan Athletic

Annan Athletic

Key signing: Experienced forward Dererk Carcary has arrived from Brechin City, while Martin McNiff and Steven Logan have signed permanently after loan spells.

One that got away: Midfielder Andrew Mitchell, who was a youth signing with Manchester City and then Rangers, has moved on to Conference Premier outfit Southport.

Last season: 2nd

Prediction: 5th. Annan have over-achieved in recent seasons and this campaign might slip down the table as others strengthen their squads in comparison.

In: Steven Logan, midfielder (Newcastle United); Derek Carcary, forward (Brechin City); Martin McNiff, defender (Dumbarton); Stuart McColm, midfielder (Clyde); Rabin Omar, forward.

Out: Kenny Arthur, goalkeeper (retired); Ally Love, midfielder (Albion Rovers); Andrew Mitchell, midfielder (Southport). Loan ended: Martin McNiff, defender (Dumbarton); Steven Logan, midfielder (Newcastle United).



Key signing: Experienced goalkeeper David Crawford helped Stirling Albion win promotion from League Two last season.

One that got away: Defender Colin Hamilton, 22, decided to remain in League One with Brechin City following Arbroath's relegation.

Last season: 12th, League One

Prediction: 4th. New manager Allan Moore has brought in some experienced campaigners and the Red Lichties could challenge for a return to League One via the play-offs.

In: Allan Moore, manager; Jordan Lowdon, defender (Waitakere United); Kieran Stewart, midfielder (St Johnstone); Jack Smith, forward (Greenock Morton); Paul McManus, forward (Forfar Athletic); Adam Hunter, midfielder (Ayr United); Scott McBride, midfielder (East Fife); Craig Johnstone, defender (East Fife); David Crawford, goalkeeper (Stirling Albion); Kevin Buchan, forward (Peterhead); Ross Fisher, defender (Brechin City); Mark Whatley, midfielder (Spartans); Simon Murray, forward (Tayport). Loan: Aldin El Zubaidi, defender (Hamilton Academical); Dylan Carreiro, midfielder (Dundee).

Out: Paul Sheerin, midfielder/manager (Aberdeen); Stewart Petrie, assistant manager; Colin Hamilton, defender (Brechin City); Graham Bayne, forward (Elgin City); Alan Cook, midfielder (East Fife); Chris Scott, midfielder (Lochee United); Ross Chisholm, midfielder; Jonathan Lindsay, defender; Lari Yao, forward; Alex Keddie, defender. Loan ended: Lee Erwin, forward (Motherwell); Leighton McIntosh, forward (Dundee); Paul McManus, forward (Forfar Athletic); Steven Doris, forward (Dundee).

Berwick Rangers

Berwick Rangers

Key signing: Former Dunfermline Athletic winger Paul Willis has switched to Shielfield Park after his release by relegated East Fife.

One that got away: Striker Kenny O'Brien was sold to junior outfit Vale of Leithen after being transfer listed.

Last season: 5th

Prediction: 6th. Colin Cameron will hope that his young captures following the fallout from Hibs' relegation quickly blossom, but another mid-table season looks likely.

In: Craig Dargo, forward (Dunfermline Athletic); Paul Willis, midfielder (East Fife); Kerr Young, defender (Dunfermline Athletic); David Gold, midfielder (Hibernian); Scott Maxwell, midfielder (East Stirlingshire); Euan Bauld, defender (Hibernian); Dean Horribine, midfielder (Hibernian); Kai Wilson, defender (Hearts).

Out: Kenny O'Brien, forward (Vale Of Leithen, undisclosed); Dougie Brydon, defender; Damian Gielty, midfielder. Loan ended: Michael Dunlop (Forfar Athletic); Peter Grant, goalkeeper (Celtic); Owen Ronald, forward (Dumbarton); Ross Drummond, defender (Dunfermline Athletic).



Key signing: No matter who he signs, former Rangers and Scotland midfielder Barry Ferguson will remain Clyde's most significant acquisition for many years.

One that got away: While 20-year-old defender Kieran MacDonald has won himself a chance of Premiership football with Hamilton, striker Stefan McCluskey, 23, followed manager Jim Duffy to Morton.

Last season: 4th

Prediction: 2nd. Barry Ferguson has not had much time to reshape his squad, but promising cup performances suggest his influence will help them improve on last season's finish.

In: Barry Ferguson, midfielder/manager (Blackpool); Stephen O'Donnell, midfielder (Dundee); Euan Murray, defender (Motherwell); Scott Durie, defender (East Fife); David Sinclair, midfielder (BI Bolungarvik); Alan Marting, goalkeeper (Aldershot Town); David Gray, midfielder (Montrose); Scott McManus, forward (Vale of Clyde); Craig McLeish, midfielder (East Kilbride Thistle); Andy Gibson, midfielder (Beith). Loan: Euan Smith, midfielder (Kilmarnock); Craig Halkett, defender (Rangers); Aidan McIlduff, defender (Celtic).

Out: Jim Duffy, manager (Greenock Morton); Kieran MacDonald, defender (Hamilton Academical); Pat Scullion, midfielder (Cowdenbeath); Stefan McCluskey, forward (Greenock Morton); Stuart McColm, midfielder (Annan Athletic); John Sweeney, midfielder; Neil Janczyk, midfielder; Ryan MacBeth, midfielder; Bradley Coyne, forward; Giuseppe Capuano, midfielder; Grant Dickie, forward. Loan ended: Joe McGovern, goalkeeper (Dundee United).

East Fife

East Fife

Key signing: Former St Mirren and Hamilton striker Jon McShane, 22, has returned to Scottish football after a spell with troubled English Northern League outfit Celtic Nation.

One that got away: Goalkeeper Greg Paterson managed to avoid a drop to League Two by winning a deal with promoted Stirling Albion.

Last season: 11th, League One

Prediction: 3rd. Gary Naysmith has axed much of the squad that suffered relegation via the play-offs and he might have to rely on that route again should he wish to lead his side back up in one season.

In: Caolan McAleer, midfielder (Partick Thistle); Fraser Mullen, defender (Raith Rovers); Scott Smith, defender (Dumbarton); Kevin Smith, forward (Dumbarton); Ewan Moyes, defender (Brechin City); Allan Walker (Brechin City); Ross Campbell, forward (Forfar Athletic); Alan Cook, midfielder (Arbroath); Jon McShane, forward (Celtic Nation); Allan Fleming, goalkeeper (Kelty Hearts). Loan: Liam Smith, defender (Hearts); Jonathan Page, defender (Dunfermline Athletic).

Out: Robbie Neilson, coach (Hearts); Paul Hegarty, assistant manager; Gregor Fotheringham, midfielder (Stenhousemuir); Greg Paterson, goalkeeper (Stirling Albion); Scott Durie, defender (Clyde); Paul Willis, midfielder (Berwick Rangers); Gary Fisher, midfielder (Albion Rovers); Scott McBride, midfielder (Arbroath); Craig Johnstone, defender (Arbroath); Connor Shaw, goalkeeper (East Stirlingshire); Liam Buchanan, forward; Pat Clarke, forward; David Cowan, defender; Bruce Inkango, forward; Joe Mbu, defender; Greg Paterson, goalkeeper; Ryan Stewart, midfielder; Johnny Stewart, midfielder; Gary Thom, defender. Loan ended: Marc McKenzie, forward (Cowdenbeath); Stephen O'Neill, midfielder (Peterhead).

East Stirlingshire

East Stirlingshire

Key signing: Former St Mirren, Cowdenbeath, Stirling and Brechin forward David McKenna will add experience to what is virtually a completely new squad.

One that got away: After a poor start to the season, summer signing David Niven, the defender freed by Elgin City, and striker Jamie Glasgow, the club's longest-serving player, both left the club, the former citing work pressures and the latter taking time out from football for personal reasons.

Last season: 8th

Prediction: 11th. Shire have lost 11 goals with only one in reply in their two cup games so far this season and it looks likely to be a long hard season for Craig Tully's much-changed squad.

In: David Niven, defender (Elgin City); David McKenna, forward (Stranraer); Paul McMullan, midfielder (Elgin City); Steven Brisbane, midfielder (Falkirk); Alan Deans, defender (Dumbarton); Billy Vidler, forward (Raith Rovers); Lloyd Kinnaird, defender (Stranraer); Neil McCabe, midfielder (Forfar Athletic); Connor Shaw, goalkeeper (East Fife); Paul Brennan, forward (Stenhousemuir); Richie Barnard, goalkeeper (Camelon); Andy Kay, midfielder (Motherwell); Jay Doyle, forward (Hibernian); Connor Greene, defender (Falkirk); Martyn Shields, midfielder (St Roch's); Ross Gilmour, defender (Dundee United).

Out: Scott Maxwell, midfielder (Berwick Rangers); Mikey Herd, midfielder (Spartans); David Niven, defender; Jamie Glasgow, forward: Kevin Turner, forward; Ross O'Donoghue, midfielder; Craig Gordon, goalkeeper; Jordan McKechnie, midfielder.

Elgin City

Elgin City

Key signing: Goalkeeper Michael Fraser, 30, moved down three divisions after his release by Ross County following three seasons with the Premiership club.

One that got away: DefenderSean Crighton, 24, impressed former Clyde manager Jim Duffy enough in opposition last season to be offered the chance to join him at his new club, Morton.

Last season: 9th

Prediction: 8th. Elgin have conceded eight goals without reply in their two cup outings so far, but the addition of some experience from higher leagues could help them improve their lowly league standing.

In: Michael Fraser, goalkeeper (Ross County); Matthew Cooper, defender (Inverness Caledonian Thistle); Gordon Finlayson, defender (Ross County); Graham Bayne, forward (Arbroath); Daniel Moore, midfielder (Nairn County); Marvin Andrews, defender (Forfar Athletic).

Out: Sean Crighton, defender (Greenock Morton); David Niven, defender (East Stirlingshire); Paul McMullan, midfielder (East Stirlingshire); Paul Harkins, midfielder (Montrose); Ray Jellema, goalkeeper. Loan ended: Jamie Masson, midfielder (Aberdeen); John Gibson, goalkeeper (Dundee).



Key signing: Former Dundee and Dundee United midfielder Steven Robb, now 32, has switched from League One outfit Brechin City.

One that got away: Midfield stalwart David Gray has been persuaded to switch to League Two rivals Clyde by their new manager, Barry Ferguson.

Last season: 6th

Prediction: 7th. George Shields will have to add more quality before the transfer window closes if he is to challenge for a play-off place in his first season as manager.

In: George Shields, manager; Lee Wilkie, assistant manager (Lochee United); Steven Robb, midfielder (Brechin City); Bryan Deasley, forward (Forfar Athletic); Stephen O'Neil, midfielder (Peterhead); Stephen Day, midfielder (Stirling Albion); Paul Harkins, midfielder (Elgin City); Danny Cavanagh, midfielder (Lochee United); Ross Graham, defender (Dundonald Bluebell). Loan: Declan O'Kane, defender (Dunfermline Athletic).

Out: David Gray, midfielder (Clyde); Craig Duguid, defender; Ricky McIntosh, midfielder; Lewis Bonar, midfielder. Loan ended: Jamie Reid, midfielder (Dundee); Calum Ferguson, forward (Inverness Caledonian Thistle); Bryan Deasley, forward (Forfar Athletic).

Queen's Park

Queens Park

Key signing: Ross Gallacher has been with several junior clubs but impressed with Pollock to an extent that the left-back has moved into senior football for the first time at 29.

One that got away: Blair Spittal is the latest product of the Spiders' youth policy to win a move to a top club, with the 18-year-old midfielder joining Dundee United.

Last season: 10th

Prediction: 10th. Queen's Park manager Gus MacPherson has gone down the route of raiding the junior ranks and will have to quickly blend together a completely new squad if he is to avoid another bottom finish.

In: David McGregor, defender (Stranraer); Ross McPherson, forward (Clydebank); Darren Miller, midfielder (Irvine Meadow); Vincent Berry, midfielder (Clydebank); Shaun Fraser, midfielder (Irvine Meadow); David McWilliams, defender (Campsie Black Watch); Paul Woods, midfielder (Petershill); Ross Gallacher, defender (Pollok); John Carter, forward (Greenock Juniors); Kevin Fotheringham, forward (Bannockburn Amateurs); William Muir, goalkeeper (Shotts Bon Accord); Bryan Wharton, defender (Shotts Bon Accord). Loan: Chris Duggan, forward (Partick Thistle).

Out: Blair Spittal, midfielder (Dundee United); Craig Sutherland, forward (Cowdenbeath); Michael Keenan, midfielder; Paul Gallagher, defender; James Brough, defender; Lucas Birstingl, goalkeeper (Airdrieonians). Loan ended: Tony Wallace, midfielder (Morton); Ricki Lamie, defender (Airdrieonians); Ross Fisher, defender (Brechin City); Eamonn Brophy, midfielder (Hamilton Academical).