Here’s the very latest in our line of Ladbrokes SPFL Fans’ Previews. In the build-up to the new campaign we’re asking a cross-section of passionate supporters how they think their side will get on and who’ll shine this season.
Dave Black is our resident expert at the wonderfully named Toni Macaroni Arena. He follows Livingston up and down the land, as well as being one of the top dogs at the The Lions’ Den forum.
Here’s how he’s calling it…
If you could sign one star from the past…
No-brainer for me – Davie Bingham. I met him again recently through work and turned right back into the wee boy I was when he was banging in goals for fun back in the day.
He was our first proper goal scorer and played a huge part in getting us into the Premiership and guiding us to a third-place finish and European football.
I’m most excited about this season because…
After a few seasons of fighting it out in the bottom three, I’m optimistic we’ll be pushing for the title this year so looking forward to seeing us scoring more goals and winning more games.
From an off-field perspective, Stranraer is a favourite away trip of mine so looking forward to a couple of trips there.
I’m least excited about this season because…
Alloa again. I feel like all we ever do is play Alloa – year after year. On the plus side, it’s 12 points on the board at least…
Two songs that define your side?
Ronan Keating’s Life is a Rollercoaster instantly springs to mind. We’ve certainly had our fair share of ups and downs over the years anyway! Fingers crossed this season, Robbie Williams’ Let Me Entertain You becomes very apt for us!
Actor that would play your gaffer in a film and why?
I’ve got to watch what I say here otherwise he’ll be having words with me! Lets go for James Corden – he’s a football man as well.
Tough to call at this stage as there’s been a number of changes to the squad but I’m going to go for Liam Buchanan.
He’s looking likely to be our main front man so banging in the goals will be huge. That aside though, he’s now one of the senior heads in the squad too so his experience will be crucial to the younger guys.
Stinker of a question. I actually think we’ve got a bit more depth to our squad this season and there’s more options to come from the bench. My only slight worry at this stage is our lack of a target man/someone to hold the play up.
We’ve got plenty of energy, pace and fight with Buchs, Mullen, Carrick & Orr but I just think we’re short of someone to give us a physical edge.
From pre-season and the early cup games, it looks likely to be Nicky Cadden at the minute. Definitely looks to be the guy who’ll have fans on the edge of their seats and I fully expect him to be a standout for us this season.
Young player to watch this season?
As touched on before, we’ve got a fairly young squad across the board and the obvious answer here would be Matthew Knox. However, from what I’ve seen in pre-season, I think Josh Mullin is one to keep an eye on.
OK, at 23, he’s maybe not the youngest in there but he looks to have had a good pre-season and has looked impressive so far.
Winners. I think we’ve got to put ourselves as favourites and instill that belief that we’re only planning on hanging around for this season before heading back to the Championship. We won’t have a proper look at all of the opposition until the first round of games have come but from what I’ve seen of us, I think we’ve got a squad capable of getting the job done.
Does anyone ever remember second place? I see a two-way shoot-out between Alloa and Stranraer just now but fingers crossed, come the end of the season, the team finishing fourth pips them both to promotion via the play-offs.
Stenhousemuir just dodged that relegation play-off place last season and I think this year might see them take the drop. East Fife and Queen’s Park will come in to the league with a bit of confidence after last season and that might just give them the edge over Stenny.
Top Goalscorer pick?
Another tough one to call. Iain Russell will be up there – he scores every time he plays Livi for sure so he knows he’s got four goals there.
I’m going to stick with Buchanan on this though – with Cadden and Mullen looking sharp, I reckon the creativity they’ll provide will present him with chances this season and he knows exactly where the goals are.
Surprise team of the season?
East Fife have had a great start in the League Cup and I think under Gary Naysmith, they’ll do better than some will predict. Albion Rovers weren’t a million miles from the play-offs last season either so wouldn’t be surprised to see them pushing for top four again.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing