Arbroath, Forfar, Brechin City and Montrose captains talk League 1
For the first time in 25 years Arbroath, Brechin City, Forfar and Montrose are all competing in the same division.
Each side will face 12 derbies in Ladbrokes League 1, which will bring a huge focus to the Angus area throughout the season.
We sat down with each club’s skipper to chew the fat about the past and the current campaign.
The Red Lichties got off to a flyer on day one, thumping Montrose 4-0 with goals from Kane Hester, Ryan Wallace and a brace from Bobby Linn.
Skipper Mark Whatley reckons whoever comes out on top among the Angus clubs could well go on to win the league.
He said of the division: “It’s going to have an added edge for sure – and less travelling for all of us!”
“The derbies are always great but from our point of view we are hoping to be competing at the top end of the table again after just coming up short in the play-offs last season.”
After a fourth-place finish last time around, Dick Campbell’s men are 7/1 to win the league this season.
The Loons had a tough start last week losing at home to Airdrieonians. But captain Michael Travis hopes the derby-like nature of the league will inspire his side to a strong campaign.
He began: “We didn’t do too well in the derbies last year but we beat Montrose in the League Cup recently so hopefully that augurs well.”
“Hopefully we can get the majority of the wins and get to the top of the pile and if we do that we won’t be far away in the league overall.”
Reflecting on the squad, Travis continued: “Jim Weir has now had time to bring in who he wants to build the team he wants so hopefully we can really kick on.”
“We maybe still need a few more to strengthen the squad but we’ll be looking to do a lot better than we did last season.”
“We’ve brought in Thomas Reilly who is very tidy on the ball and Gary Fraser, who was at Partick Thistle, and John Baird, of course, who is also assistant manager but is still a major goal threat.”
After going the whole of last season without a win in the Ladbrokes Championship, Brechin City will be looking to restore some pride in League 1.
The Glebe Park club are currently 14/1 to win the division, and captain Paul McLean had this to say.
“It was so tough last season and the longer it went without a win, every time we went behind, we all thought ‘here we go again’.
“We were out of our depth a wee bit. We were only one of two part-time clubs in the division, so hopefully this year will be more of a level playing field.”
“I’ve been at Brechin for 10 years so it’s the first time all four Angus teams have been in it. It’s going to be great for the fans and the club in general.”
After edging to the Ladbrokes League Two title by a single point last term, Montrose are keen to solidify their position in the third-tier.
The Gable Endies are 40/1 to complete the double bounce and win the league, although survival may be a more realistic target.
Club captain Paul Watson told us: “We just want to establish ourselves as a League 1 club again. It was a great period last season and we were so pleased to win the league.”
“Stewart Petrie has had such a positive effect on us. We were struggling when he took over, then he took us to the play-offs the year before and then we won the title.
Contemplating the number of local games that promotion brings, he said: “It’s going to be a mini league among the Angus clubs and that’s great in terms of travelling for us.”
“It will be a test for us because Arbroath will be challenging, Forfar are a good side and Brechin have just come down so we look forward to that.”
Click here for the latest Ladbrokes League 1 odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing