So as you can our best 3 players by current ability are loanees – The first two I’ve inherited, the 3rd I’ve signed for the season
Big Kevin Waugh, 20, on loan from Hibs, played 3 games for Berwick in League 2 last season and is in the Media Dream Eleven, and rightly so. Just shy of 6′ 4″, 14 Marking, 13 Heading, Tackling & Jumping Reach mark him out as having the the attributes to be an at least League 1 CD – Strength and Stamina is a weakness, but 13 Acceleration & Positioning should mean he’s in the right place at the right time. The standout player in the squad
Josh Donaldson, 18, on loan from Dundee Utd, has yet to have started a first team game put at first blush looks very strong for this level, and is in the Media Dream Eleven as well. 6″ 1′, 13 Handling, 14 Bravery and 15 Decisions should stand us in good stead. 1 Eccentricity should mean no Higuita moments but 1 First Touch means no Sweeper-Keeping. Solid.
Tom Kelly – 17, I brought him in on the 17th July from Ross County, again never having started a first team game. We only had the one Right Back (Kyle Fee) so this was a necessity. Would be nice if his Passing was higher but 14’s for Acceleration, Agility & Pace and a 12 Tackling marks him out as avery useful Wing Back at this level. 5″ 10.5′ as well so not too short.
Then I brought in some experience to bolster a week midfield
Murray McCulloch, 34, started out at Aberdeen before travelling around the lower leagues in England and Scotland, lastly at Cove Rangers in the Highland League. Signed on a Free on the 18th July he’s a little chap at 5″ 6′, but with solid mentals (13 Decisions and 10 Vision) coupled with 11 First Touch and Passing sees him as a starting Deep Lying Playmaker in the middle of the park. Apparently he is in his prime years, but I’d only really expect this season out of him.
Andy Mair, the first of the non-loan inherited players. Only 21, just a smidge under 6″ 1′, equally adept at left back or left wing he’s solid where he needs to be, with a good few attributes between 12 & 9. He’s been wanted by a load of clubs in the Highland & Lowland Leagues already. Starting Left Wing, though provides good back up at left Back as a Wing Back
Ross Guthrie. An inherited signing for this season, he’s one where the star rating doesn’t necessarily mean much. 28, 6ft tall, Wants to be a Poacher but has 7 Finishing. He started with Edinburgh City, and played 23 times in their first season in league 2 in the 2016/17 season. He comes to us from Spartans. Training him as a Shadow Striker to give that as an option, but I see him as a backup. Club Vice-Captain.
Neil McVitie, signed on a Non-Contract deal on 29th July, so 6 days ago in game, 29, 5″ 9′, Solid Defensive Ball Winner in the middle of the park, so training him to do the same as defensive Midfielder. no outstanding attributes, but lots of 11’s and 10’s. Played almost 100 games for Peterhead in League 1 between 2007 & 2011 after starting at Aberdeen. Have him as a Rotation player at DM (BWM D), maybe moving up into a Midfield 3 in the same role.
David Churchill. 20, Just under 5″ 9′, a generic Central Midfielder but with 14 Passing means possible Playmakerishness. Rotation in the middle 3, hoping for some development over the season.
Jordan Hopkinson. 26, 6″ 2.5′. Poacher, 12 Finishing, 13 Pace. Decent Leadership & Off-The-Ball. Would usually be starting as the 1 up top but because of a junior we will see later he’ll be the backup/rotation for this position ahead of Ross Guthrie.
Interesting one here. Alieau Faye. A French 27 year old, 6ft with 13 Acceleration, Agility and Pace, and 8 Crossing. Our starting left Winger. Looked a real handful in the pre-season friendlies, with a 9.3 & 2 8.2 average ratings.
Andrew Mackay. 20, 6ft, good left wing coverage for Andy Mair. Started at Strathspey Thistle, looked very useful on trial getting a 9.2 v Glenrothes but was quiet against 2 better teams. 9 Crossing and 13 Acceleration, Pace and Agility has him almost exactly the same as Alieau Faye. Signed on a Non-Contract on 18th July.
Mark McConnell. 24, 6″ 1′, starting centre back with Kevin Waugh. Adequate Marking & Tackling combined with 13 Anticipation, 12 Pace and 11 Positioning may see me use him as Cover rather than Defend to mop-up anything Big Kev doesn’t get (And I can assure you from the friendlies that isn’t much!!!). Another Edinburgh City-ite, played 28 games in League 2 in 16/17.
So that’s all our players down to 2.5 stars. We have 4 starters below this at a 2 star level. 3 of these have 4-or-more start potential, 1 is the only natural DM we have. They are as follows:
Johnny Devers. 17, just under 5″ 9′. 4* Potential. Training him to be an Advanced Playmaker with his Decisions and Vision. Likes being a Mezzala as well. Will rotate with McCulloch & Churchill in the 2 Central Midfield spots. Scored a couple of Worldies in one friendly with his 1 Long Shots 🙂
Scott Clapperton. 28, 5″ 11′. Solid DM with nice physicals and good tackling. Neil McVitie will rotate in the BWM Support DM position. Strength not amazing though – definitely a squad weakness
Craig Newall. 24, 4* Potential though at 24 I think he’ll have trouble realising that. Starting Left Wing Back. 14 Pace, 10 Tackling. Having him train to knock balls past the opponent. Will Rotate in the left 3 with Mackay & Mair, though will start more often than not.
And last but not least,
James Hainey, our starting 1-up-top. 22, 6″ 1′, 14 Finishing, 11 heading, 13 Off-The-Ball. 4.5* Potential. Naturally Fit, he has been a real handful in pre-season with the through ball and over-the-top, scoring 5. Looks like a really promising spearhead.
Personality wise our full squad minus 1 person is Balanced, which I’m fine with, with David Churchill as Fairly Ambitious. I’ll be trying to plug Professional attitudes in going forward.
Lastly we will look at the Pros, Cons and footedness of the team
Speed, Speed, Speed!!!!!!! Hoping we can use that down the wings and up front. We seem to have Team Player issues though, hoping we will be able to gel over the first month or two as unfortunately with this league you have to win to go into a play-off against the bottom of League 2 for promotion – you can’t afford many slip ups at all. With regards to two-footedness our sub keeper is the best 🙂 But both Kevin Waugh and Tom Kelly are two-footed which is superb. We have the usual split of Lefties and Righties
In the next post I’ll look at what Tactics I’m going to be using this coming season.