Dumbarton are going through another summer of change under manager Stevie Aitken and the Sons are preparing for another tough campaign ahead. Here is my thoughts on what lies ahead for Dumbarton.
More than a dozen players have left the Sons this summer, with key names Alan Martin, Andy Stirling and Robert Thomson all moving to league rivals. Garry Fleming and Mark Docherty were released while influential loanees Sam Stanton and Lewis Vaughan have returned to their parent clubs (although Stanton is now on loan with Dundee United).
The experience Aitken has brought into his side this summer could prove vital, especially with such a small pool of players to choose from. Additions in the back line with Scott Gallacher coming in to replace Alan Martin while Andy Dowie and Craig Barr have joined the back-line. The defence looks near completion with other additions Christopher McLaughlin, Dougie Hill and Sam Wardrop joining up. Maybe, the only position still needing some movement is left-back, with no natural cover for McLaughlin looking likely so far.
Further up field, the re-signing of Grant Gallagher and Stuart Carswell have shown to be problematic so far with the duo both sustaining serious injuries. This has depleted Aitken’s already thn squad and this could be the key area for the Sons to try and bring any new recruits into. The signing of playes such as Danny Handling shows intent in that area, while David Wilson has came to Dumbarton to offer a different option after his release by Partick. While Craig Barr can fill in this position, I do not see this scenario being ideal and, thus, I think reinforcements are required still.
There seems to be 3 wingers and 3 strikers and this looks reasonably set up for Dumbarton heading into the new campaign. If they can find a versatile player who can cover in both positions as well, I think their squad would then be complete.
Overall, I think the Sons will have a tough season but have enough quality amongst their group already to gain results. I think the bigger questions will be asked when they face injuries and suspensions and this is where additional central midfielders, in particular, may be necessary. I think Aitken’s men will fight relegation but are more than good enough to finish mif-table, also, if injuries and suspensions are kept to a minimum.