As the start of the new season edges closer, Colin Byiers picks out five players expected to shine in the Scottish League Two.
Kane Hester – Elgin City
Since the departure of Shane Sutherland to Inverness, Hester has flourished in being the main goal scorer for Elgin City. 16 goals last season including 2 hat tricks, was a huge part in City finishing in 3rd and a play-off spot.
Linked with a move away to clubs in the Championship during the close season, the former Arbroath man now has an impressive 41 goals in 78 appearances for Elgin.
James Hilton – Edinburgh City
“Jinky”, as he is foundly known, was a big favourite with the Stranraer fans before he made the decision to move on last month. His wing play and dribbling skills will be City’s gain this season.
With just 3 goals last season, Hilton might feel a fresh start at a new club is what the doctor ordered, and should he link up with the likes of Ouzy See and Allan Smith, his goal tally will secure City another play-off spot, if not that elusive League 2 title.
Nathan Austin – Kelty Hearts
Austin’s goals in the last 2 seasons have helped Kelty to win the Lowland League and gain promotion to League 2. All eyes will be on the 27-year-old to see if he can replicate those goals in the higher league.
The former Inverness and East Fife man does have the experience at this level, and with the experienced Joe Cardel in Kelty’s squad, they are many people’s favourites to win the league at the first time of asking. If Austin can do what he has done in the last 2 seasons, then they might just do it.
Sean Crighton – Stenhousemuir
All has changed at Stenhousemuir in the summer, and Sean Crighton’s move from Airdrie may have raised a few eyebrows, but Stenny’s new captain see’s the pathway of success that the Warriors want to go down.
At just 31, Crighton has over 450 games under his belt and his experience will be needed as Stephen Swift now has a completely new defence at his disposal. Having captained Airdrie to 2nd place in League 1, his winning mentality and drive is exactly what Stenhousemuir need.
Tommy Muir – Stranraer
Muir’s goals at Annan Athletic and before that at Dalbeattie Star, had him on Stranraer’s radar long before he finally joined this summer. However, after joining Stranraer, his new manager Stevie Farrell joined Dumbarton.
Scoring 30 times in 75 league games so far in his career, the hype around Muir finally joining a side who has been chasing him for 3 years will be an interesting one. Goal difference played a part in separating 3 sides in the final table in League 2, so his goals could be the difference in Stranraer finishing in the play-offs or not.