Wednesday’s 2-0 Scottish League Cup win at Arbroath may not have been enough to see Cowdenbeath reach the next round, but it’s a definite sign of progress for a club beginning to find their feet again. So, do the Blue Brazil have what it takes to lift the Ladbrokes League 2 title?
Head coach Liam Fox has certainly boosted the squad with some promising arrivals this summer – with former Hearts hitman Gary Glen and prolific striker Kris Renton both helping the offset the loss of last season’s top scorer Greig Spence, who departed for Alloa Athletic.
And the former Hearts coach has also brought in a handful of talented Tynecastle loanees, with pacy Bulgarian Nikolay Todorov having already found the net during the 2-0 win at Gayfield earlier this week.
There’s also the benefit of Cowden’s young squad having now experienced first team football, with the likes of 18-year-old keeper Jamie Sneddon and creative men Craig Johnston and Kyle Miller having all played regularly last season.
Indeed, this squad looks at least as strong as the one which narrowly dropped out of League 1 last season – and with a hungry young manager in charge, another season of struggle looks very unlikely. But it’s tough at the top this season.
Barry Ferguson’s Clyde look an extremely strong outfit, while Arbroath are also likely contenders – though Cowdenbeath have already eased past the latter this season, and only lost 2-1 to a strong Inverness Caledonian Thistle side in the League Cup.
So, can they do it? Well, the early signs are good – and the 5-4-1 system Fox has implemented appears to suit the Blue Brazil squad nicely. The new faces have also impressed so far, and there’s obviously the benefit of playing against weaker opposition than they have in the past two seasons.
And history tends to be on their side against this season’s challengers. Cowden have beaten Clyde in five of their last six meetings, while Arbroath have only beaten the Central Park outfit once in the past 10 clashes.
It’s set to be a close-run thing this year, meaning Ladbrokes League 2 should also provide plenty of entertainment for the neutral.
But Cowdenbeath look as likely as anyone to win the title this season, meaning they’re well worth backing at odds of 9/2.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing