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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 August 2007, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
All to play for in the Third
There's a new season of Third Division football about to kick-off and Billy Stark, manager of newly-promoted Second Division side Queen's Park talks us through how he thinks the season ahead will go.


A change in management there and a guy I know well, John McCormick, has come in.

Scott Chaplain
Scott Chaplain has moved from Cliftonhill to Firhill

I think Albion Rovers are traditionally viewed as a tough job, with not much in the way of resources and not the best environment to play in, but John has a huge enthusiasm for the game and he will instil this in the players.

They've lost a few top players - Gordon Lennon and Scott Chaplain going to Partick Thistle are a big loss and McCormick has brought in a few junior players and Jamie McKenzie, who was at Elgin.

A difficult job but John will build a team who you'll know you've been in a game with - they'll be very competitive.

He'll need a bit of time to get to grips with the team though, so I doubt they'll be in the promotion mix this year.


Arbroath went down to Berwick on the second last day of last season with a chance of winning the title so that says it all about their strength and they've strengthened again, but have lost Mark McCulloch and Jay Stein.

They've made key additions to their squad in Paul Tosh from Forfar along with Craig Tully and Chris Hegarty from Peterhead.

There's no doubt that Tosh will be a handful at that level.

Their home record wasn't quite as good as they would have hoped last year, but I think they'll improve on that and they'll be title contenders.


Dumbarton are a team who suffered last season - they were unfortunate with postponements and had to play top teams close together - and at this level that takes its toll.

Stephen Grindlay
Stephen Grindlay is a big loss for Dumbarton

Since then they've also lost goalkeeper Stephen Grindlay along with Ryan Borris and Craig Winter - arguably their best players - so it'll be tough for Gerry McCabe this year.

A lot of people assume Dumbarton should be higher up the leagues but don't take the practicalities of the situation into account.

On the plus side, Brian McPhee has great enthusiasm and former Aberdeen player Fergus Tiernan is also a good buy.

It'll be tough for Dumbarton to challenge due to a lack of investment, I think finishing in the top half of the table will be their limit.


East Fife had a big strong team last year and look even stronger this time around.

They have made Craig O'Reilly a permanent signing and Kevin Fotheringham and Paul Mathers are both significant additions to an already strong squad.

East Fife will definitely be at the sharp end again this term.


A difficult one to predict.

Although their league positions haven't improved Gordon Wylde has done a good job there and their performances have improved.

They've brought in good players in Darren Hill, Joe Savage, Kevin McBride and Gary Kelly and I expect them to improve again.

It wouldn't surprise me if they managed to get off the bottom spot.


Another difficult one.

A new manager is in and did well at the tail end of last season, however they've lost Martin Johnston - their top scorer - and Adam Nelson, who were both key players, and I've not seen any significant new signings.

Geography makes it difficult for Elgin to attract players.

They'll look to attract more local based players from the Highland League which makes them a bit of an unknown quantity.


Another team with a new manager and a new-look sqaud after they cleared out eight players - something which happens a lot when teams are relegated.

Steve Kerrigan
Steve Kerrigan brings bags of experience to Forfar

They've brought in experienced striker Steve Kerrigan from Montrose and signed some former junior players.

However, with all this transition it'll be difficult for them to meet the expectation of going straight back up.

I don't know that much about them, but I think a solid rather spectacular season is on the cards.


After bringing in Jim Weir as manager they've invested again and brought in a few players like Kevin McGowne.

With his SPL experience, he's the type of signing that can make the difference at this level.

With other signings like John Baird from St Mirren and Mark Peat, Ian Dobbins and Jay Stein from Arbroath they've definitely strengthened.

Their new artificial pitch makes could be a bit of an unknown factor, but I'd expect that to help them push for a play-off spot.


Managed by my old teammate Campbell Money, who took over at a difficult time.

Campbell Money
Campbell Money has radically changed the squad at Ochilview

They've had a clear out in the summer, losing John Paul McBride, the two Hendersons, Darren and Robbie, and Kevin McLeish.

Campbell's brought in Ross Hamilton, Steve Hampshire from Brechin and John Dillon, who are all good players, so he's stamping his own mark on the side.

I also think John Dempster will improve again up front and it wouldn't surprise me if they push for a play off spot.


Another relegated side, and there will be an onus on them to come straight back up but they have had to clear out.

It will be difficult to predict how they'll do but they look in better shape than Forfar.

Pat Keogh is an effective big striker and they also have Kevin Nicol from Albion and Ricky Gillies, who still has a few years in him and has played at the top level.

While Michael Mullen from Queen of the South is a recognised goalscorer.

I think they'll be looking at a play off spot at worst this season.

Billy Stark was speaking to BBC Sport's Stevie Miller.

Division Three ins and outs
01 Aug 07 |  Scottish League
Chick Young's view
30 Jul 07 |  Scotland


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