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Page last updated at 15:25 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 16:25 UK

Falkirk team guide

BBC Sport's guide to Falkirk.

How did the Bairns finish last season? Just failed to make a top six spot last season. However, given their meagre resources, finishing seventh for a second successive year was a creditable effort.


Manager: Bairns boss John Hughes is arguably more obsessed with watching football matches than Arsene Wenger! Big 'Yogi' has been at Falkirk for five-and-a-half years and has guided them steadily from the First Division to becoming an established SPL club.

He doesn't mince his words and demands hard work from his players, but despite a reputation from his playing days as a no-nonsense hoofer, he likes his young team to play neat passing football. Nurtures emerging home-grown talent and has an eye for a bargain in the transfer market.

Captain: Fans favourite Darren Barr typifies his manager's ethos in that he is an effective defender who can also play a bit of football.

Scottish top-flight highlights: Since Falkirk have never won a top-flight title, or even been close to it, their halycon days are arguably right now. Bairns fans will be fairly satisfied that they are comfortably placed in Scotland's Premier League, with little danger of flirting with relegation but the distinct possibility of breaking into the top six for the first time.

Falkirk legend: Kevin McAllister was voted 'Player of the Millennium' by Bairns fans. A lofty title for the diminutive winger who spent 10 seasons with Falkirk spread over four separate spells.

Falkirk midfielder Scott Arfield

Star man: Midfield starlet Scott Arfield attracted the attention of Manchester United after some impressive performances last season. The athletic 19-year-old will be expected to build on a promising debut season and establish himself as a driving creative force in the Falkirk engine room.

Strengths: Weave pretty patterns and, on their day, are one of the most attractive footballing sides in Scotland. Hard to beat at home.

Weaknesses: Leaky defence, especially on the road. The Bairns also lack an out-and-out goalscorer to convert the many chances presented by their clever build-up play.

Promising Irish striker Anthony Stokes was the last man to provide them with a killer touch, bagging 14 goals in season 2006/07 while on loan from Arsenal. But he departed for Sunderland after only half a season and Yogi has struggled to find a replacement.


Our verdict: Yogi has brought in a host of seasoned veterans in the shape of Jackie McNamara, Lee Bullen and Neil McCann. It's a risky strategy, aimed at balancing his relatively inexperienced squad with some wise old heads.

If he can keep the old boys on the pitch and off the treatment table then they might just sneak into the top six.

see also
Aberdeen team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Aberdeen
Celtic team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Celtic
Dundee United team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Dundee Utd
Hamilton Academical team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Hamilton
Hearts team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Hearts
Hibernian team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Hibernian
Inverness CT team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Inverness CT
Kilmarnock team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Kilmarnock
Motherwell team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Motherwell
Rangers team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Rangers
St Mirren team guide
05 Aug 08 |  St Mirren

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