Season preview

14th July 2011

Describe last season in one word?
Unexpected!

Who do you think will win your division?
Could be anyone really.  More likely to be Brechin or Airdrie though.

Who do you think will be relegated?
Could be anyone really!  More likely to be Stenhousemuir or Dumbarton though.

How do you rate your own manager?
Very highly.  After taking over last season, not being relegated was a massive accolade for Jimmy Boyle, especially with the rebuilding job he did last summer when the team was torn apart and he had to start from scratch.

How do you rate the business he’s done this summer?
The little business he has done has been successful.  Bringing in someone with experience like David Lilley is a brilliant move considering he turned down full-time football to join us.  John Boyle will hopefully seize the opportunity to prove himself at a higher level having joined from junior side Auchinleck Talbot.  I’d have to say it wasn’t his fault losing out on Ryan McCord to Alloa, it was McCord’s decision to go (probably based on money or the Hartley factor) and JB can’t argue with that.

Who do you think will be the surprise package from your team this season?
The surprise packages last season were our young players such as Jamie Bain and Tony Watt.  Though I personally thought Bain was a better player than Watt, it was the latter who earned a £100k move to Celtic in the January transfer window, having only made his debut for the first team in July.  As more young players come through the ranks we could find more surprises in store (and potentially more money in the club’s funds).

Who is the cult hero at your club?
Paul Lovering – undoubtedly.  This will be his tenth season in a diamond and a testimonial match is being lined up against Rangers at some point in the next few weeks/months.  He has always shown 100% determination and grit, though often paying the price for it finding himself walking back towards the tunnel.  He may not play much anymore but he is still at the club in a coaching capacity and long may it continue.  If the young players take a leaf out of his book and play for the badge like he does then we have a solid future ahead (as long as we don’t end up with Hearts-like disciplinary fines).

Who has been the best signing of the transfer window in your division?
I’d hopefully say David Lilley signing for us, but Brian Kerr heading to Arbroath seems an equally good piece of business on Paul Sheerin’s part!

Which opposition player do your fans love to hate?
Most ex-players: the likes of Mark Roberts or Kevin McDonald spring to mind.  And maybe any player wearing an Albion Rovers strip!

Which opposition player would you love to have in your team?
Rory McAllister, Peterhead.  Seeing as part-time football was his priority rather than money, it’s a shame we didn’t attempt to sway him to Broomfield (publicly at least).  Though it is understandable with his apprenticeship being in Aberdeen.

Finally, where do you think you will finish this season?
Top four.  If we finish top then it’s automatic promotion.  If we finish 2nd/3rd then we play the team in the other position to play whoever wins in the other match – played between 9th in the First Division and 4th in our Division, which could also be us.  Hopefully!

by Douglas Barrie for STV Sport 

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