PRO punter Dino Vita (@VitaDino) casts his eye over the Scottish League 1 runners and riders.
Scottish League 1 | 8th August 2015
Scotland’s third tier will start the new season with four new managers in place after a season when Greenock Morton emerged victorious in a close, three-horse title race. This season looks to have a similar shape with, in my view, two sides fighting it out for the top spot; beyond that I think any one of six could take the two remaining play-off places.
Last season’s title favourites Dunfermline had a terrible 2014/15 season under veteran manager Jim Jeffries and have replaced him with ex Queen Of The South and Kilmarnock manager Allan Johnston. The layers have the Pars as favourites and that makes sense to me, they’re the only full time side in the league and have a manager who won this league before with Queens. Despite flopping in previous seasons it’ll be hard to see them missing out on promotion here.
I fancy Cowdenbeath to run Dunfermline close. Relegated from the Championship last season, that demotion has proved costly with them losing their manager Jimmy Nicholl and a host of players. New player-manager Colin Nish will need to find his feet quickly.
Stranraer punched above their weight last season in running Morton to the last day of the season for top spot. Naturally this pricked the interest of a number of clubs with regard to their personnel and manger Stephen Aitken has followed six players out of the door. That will be a big loss to the club so I can’t see them reaching the heights of last season. Play-offs? Possibly.
Keep an eye on Ayr this season. Manager Ian McCall is a wily fox and he’s made some shrewd signings over the summer. I can see them definitely being in the promotion picture.
Forfar and Brechin did very well to make the play-offs last season but I can’t see either challenging for the league this time round. The league looks tougher this season.
In terms of relegation I can’t see beyond Albion Rovers and Stenhousemuir. Stenny survived last season with an extra time winner in the Relegation Play-Off Final. This season looks like it could be another struggle for them. Albion Rovers won League 2 last season to gain promotion but have been a bit of a yo yo side in recent years, and it looks like they’ll fight it out for relegation with the Warriors this season.
Scottish League One – Dunfermline to win Scottish League One (3/1 Ladbrokes)
Scottish League One – Ayr United to win Scottish League One (11/2 Ladbrokes)
Scottish League One – Stenhousemuir to finish bottom of Scottish League One (7/1 Ladbrokes)
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