Stevie Farrell has made some shrewd signings this close-season to boost the chances of Stranraer having a much more successful campaign this time around. This is my opinion on how the squad is shaping up so far.
Despite losing key players such as Craig Malcolm and Willie Gibson this summer, Farrell’s recruitment drive has saw experience and youth mix to make a good blend of talent joining the ranks at Stair Park this campaign.
Cameron Belford and Max Currie remain as the two goalkeepers to battle it out and this provides good continuity for the side leading forward.
The defence has been aided by the signings of quality playwers such as Jamie Hamill and Tom Lang, while Morgyn Neill has joined permanently. The only question mark would be a left-back to cover for Liam Dick – there doesn’t seem to be any natural cover in this position and it may be something Farrell looks to address over the coming weeks.
The midfield looks strong with a variety of graft, guile and creativity. Scott Agnew remaining at Stair Park will give the Blues a cutting edge with the steely determination of Steven Bell providing a good defensive option. The youthfulness of Kyle Turner can also be seen as a positive, with the youngster staying on, despite interest from elsewhere. However, the one area which looks to he lacking is width. Apart from Grant Anderson, no real natural wide player seems available amongst the squad. Ryan Wallace can play in that position,, but that would then detract the qualities he has from further up the field. Again, I think this may be another area Farrell will look to improve if budget allows him to.
Up front, alongside Wallace is Danny Stoney and Stephen Okoh – neither player with a proven track record at this level and this may be the only downside to their signings; if they can hit the ground running then Stranraer can get off to a good start. Ryan Thomson can give a different dimension up front with the more natural midfielder able to give a more physical presence if needed.
In my opinion, Stranraer have an experienced squad with some good young players in it which will see them finish in the mid-table section of the league. A few added additions should see them stay clear of relegation troubles.