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Page last updated at 15:14 GMT, Tuesday, 31 July 2007 16:14 UK

First for thrills

With a First Division season that looks to be one of the most thrilling in years looming, who better to guide us through than David Irons, manager of newly-promoted SPL side Gretna. Here, David talks us through the way he sees the season ahead going.


I think Clyde are one of the teams who may find it hard going this season.

Colin Hendry
Colin Hendry faces a tough challenge at Clyde

Over the summer they have certainly lost a few good players.

Colin Hendry has come in as manager and he's having to rebuild his squad to a fair extent.

So Clyde could well be a bit of an unknown quantity this season.

David's prediction: 9th


I'm sure that Dundee will be one of the main challengers for promotion.

Alex Rae's strengthened his side quite a bit over the summer while also managing to retain most of the players already there, and I think they'll go closer than last season.

David's prediction: 3rd


Dunfermline will be everyone's favourites to go up.

Stephen Kenny
Stephen Kenny will look to return to the SPL at the first attempt

Stephen Kenny's retained most of his squad, bar Dorus De Vries and Gary Mason, so I would expect them to bounce back up at the first attempt.

The biggest issue will be how the players cope with the disappointment of being relegated and losing a cup final.

However, I think they will manage this and I do expect them to win promotion.

David's prediction: 1st


I think Billy Reid has done a magnificent job over the past few seasons at Hamilton.

Obviously home advantage for them is emphasised with the surface they play on.

They may not have the most well-known squad of players but they tend to be well organised and difficult to beat.

David's prediction: 5th


I think there's a lot of pressure on Livi this season to get as close as possible to promotion.

I know Pearse Flynn is keen to get out of the first as quickly as he can, but new manager Mark Proctor will have a bit of a rebuilding job on his hands.

David's prediction: 4th


One of the new teams in the league.

Morton have always been one of the larger provincial clubs in Scotland and have a big support.

I think Jim McInally and Martin Clark have done a good job and this could lead to high expectations among the Greenock fans.

But I think a season of consolidation may be the limit for Morton this year.

David's prediction: 6th


Another job for Ian McCall - a man with a proven record of turning clubs round.

Ian McCall
Ian McCall has lots of rebuilding to do at Firhill

He's also another manager with a massive rebuilding job ahead of him.

Partick are another big club in terms of support and potential, which was obviously the attraction for Ian.

While I think it'll be tough for him, I can't see them getting dragged into the relegation dogfight and they will look to push on next season.

David's prediction: 7th


Queens have a lot of ex-Gretna players so I'm more familiar with them than the other sides.

I think the main thing for Queens is that Gordon Chisholm will have them well organised.

He's a very good coach and I don't think QOS will have the initial problems they had last season, when they fell adrift early on.

David's prediction: 8th


Obviously there was huge disappointment for them last season on all fronts, in the league and in both cups.

Simon Mensing and Jason Scotland
Simon Mensing and Jason Scotland are major losses for St Johnstone

Owen Coyle's problem this time round will be matching last season's efforts.

He has strengthened his squad, but whether he can make up for the loss of Jason Scotland and Simon Mensing, both key players, remains to be seen.

I think they will run Dunfermline close to the promotion slot.

David's prediction: 2nd


A tough one for Allan Moore. I think Stirling will find it hard going in a league full of full-time clubs.

Allan does get the best out of his players and he'll have to do that week-in-week-out with his players this season.

Stirling haven't strengthened too much over the summer and this may be a problem for them.

Unfortunately, I can see them as candidates for relegation.

David's prediction: 10th

David Irons was speaking to BBC Sport's Stevie Miller.

see also
Chick Young's view
30 Jul 07 |  Scotland
Division One ins and outs
28 Jul 07 |  Scottish League
Dreaming in Black & White
30 Jul 07 |  Gretna

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