After a summer clear-out, Brian Kerr has recruited well over the close-season, with Albion possibly being the surprise side of League One in 2017/18. Here is my thoughts:
After losing so many key figures from their side, as well as manager Darren Young, you would understand if Albion fell into a hole and then started digging… under new gaffer Brian Kerr, they have replaced their key losses with – arguably – a better standard of player, overall.
Ross Stewart, the goalkeeper, has been replaced by former Falkirk keeper Graham Bowman whereas the Dunlop brothers – who have been the lynch-pin of the defence for numerous years – have been replaced by Jason Marr of Alloa and Ross Perry of Clyde. I think these three players will be massive losses to the club but with the experience of the players who have came in and the pedigree they have, it shows the ambitious nature of the new gaffer.
When you look at the midfield, experience has been added through the likes of Graeme Holmes and Alan Trouten, while the versatile Scott McLaughlin has also signed on. With McLaughlin currently filling in at left-back, I think that restricts what Albion can do and I think a more permanent left-back may be required by Kerr as the season goes on.
When you look at the flanks, this is maybe the most important area of improvement. While Trouten can play there, as well as Joao Victoria, I don’t think there is strength in depth in this department. I Kerr can add more reinforcements to this pool of players, I feel Albion can have a positive season.
Sean Higgins and Victoria will be the focal points in attack and with the impressive Connor Shields looking to make an impact this campaign, then this area begins to look strong.
Overall, I think with a couple of more attacking options in the wider areas, and possibly a left-back, then Albion can be more than just relegation battlers. I feel a comfortable mid-table finish is possible if they can acquire the services of a couple of quality players in the desired areas to help this team fulfil their potential.