Airdrieonians

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Round 12

Airdrieonians 3 - 1 Dumbarton
2019-11-02 15:00 More Reports
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Round 13

2019-11-09 15:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Airdrieonians

In


Ally Roy (att) (Partick); Kyle MacDonald (def) (Motherwell); Callum Fordyce (def) (Queen of the South); James Cowan (mid) (Oxford); Kurtis Roberts (mid) (Queen’s Park); Craig Thomson (mid) (Brechin); Adam Eckersley (def) (St Mirren); Josh Kerr (def) (Brighton); Paul McKay (def) (Cardiff); Nat Wedderburn (mid) (Raith Rovers); Reece Willison (gk) (Celtic); Calum Gallagher (att) (Dumbarton); Callum Smith (att) (Dunfermline, loan); Euan O’Reilly (mid) (St Johnstone, loan)

Out


Kyle Wilie (r)(mid) (Annan); Dean Cairns (sp)(def) (East Kilbride); Sean McIntosh (def) (Brechin); Grant Gallagher (r)(mid) (Stranraer); Scott Robertson (r)(def) (Stranraer); Leighton McIntosh (k)(att) (Wrexham); Ben McKenzie (sp)(gk) (Kelty Hearts); Chris O’Neil (r)(def) (Stenhousemuir); Joao Vitoria (att) (Raith Rovers); Kieran MacDonald (r)(def) (Raith Rovers); Josh Edwards (r)(def) (Dunfermline); Scott Stewart (r)(mid) (Arbroath); Darryl Duffy (sp)(att), Ryan Conroy (sp)(mid) (both released)

Airdrie are coming into the new season off the back of a disappointing campaign, in which a fifth-placed finish flattered their efforts. As such, head coach Ian Murray has completed a clear out with the expectation of better. On paper, their squad is certainly stronger, but they would surely have liked to have put in a better League Cup display. They fared credibly against Championship but struggled to overcome newly promoted Clyde, while they were held to a draw against Queen’s Park. Murray will hope that it is simply a case of a new group of players taking time to gel, though supporters were critical last season of what they felt was an overly defensive attitude. Airdrie have a virtually entirely new squad this season, with one of the few exceptions being goalkeeper David Hutton, who received mixed reviews last term. Otherwise, they have picked players up from a variety of sources, building a new-look defence around Sean Crighton and Josh Kerr, who arrived from Brighton’s Under-23 squad. Airdrie have made a number of such left-field signings, including fellow defender Paul McKay from Cardiff and James Cowan from Oxford United’s U18s. While they have picked players up from unlikely sources, they have also strengthened from more traditional sources, grabbing a handful of strong League One performers last season, including veteran left-back Adam Echersley, central midfielder Nat Wedderburn and Dumbarton attacker Calum Gallagher. They may be yet to really shine going forward this season but, with Ally Roy on their books, they look to have good depth in the offensive areas, strong players in the heart of the midfield and the basis of a good defence. Perhaps one area where they may find themselves a little lacking is in the creative department, with much dependent on the talents of Dean Hawkshaw, who finished off last season strongly.

Target


Comfortably attaining a playoff spot should be Airdrie’s target. And it should be entirely realistic, too.

Season Review
2018/2019

№5: Airdrieonians

Airdrie endured a disappointing campaign. They had started the season expecting to challenge for the playoffs, and concluded it simply happy to have avoided the worst of the relegation dogfight, aware that their position in the middle of the table was somewhat flattering. Stevie Findlay began the season in charge of the club but a haphazard transfer campaign left them too reliant on untested young players. Initially, Joao Vitoria looked an excellent addition but he fell out of favour once Findlay was sacked in October, and Ian Murray arrived. He implemented a pragmatic system that lacked width, forcing the Portuguese to find a loan move to Stranraer. Murray’s arrival was expected to spark better from the side, but instead resulted in a string of low-scoring fixtures that neither satisfied the supporters nor improved the fortunes of the team any. While there were some bright periods – two successive runs of three successive victories – the overwhelming feeling was that Airdrie failed to reach their potential. Indeed, after beating East Fife in their opening match of 2019, they would only record another 5 victories before the end of the campaign – with the final 2 of those arriving when the season was already over as a competitive entity. There was a sense that Murray did not trust his attackers, despite Leighton McIntosh finishing the season with a commendable 12 goals. Darryl Duffy, meanwhile, struck 10. Airdrie leaned heavily on both for goals, with the midfield unable to contribute enough – an area that must be examined in the summer. Defensively, Airdrie were up there with the best in the league, though that was a reflection of the manager’s mindset. Nevertheless, they had good depth in that area and could even afford to leave Jonny Page out of the squad for much of 2019 after a disastrous start to the season. It is around this sector of the team they will build next term. The fans will want to see either more adventure or better results – this continued mediocrity will not fly for another year.


Player of the Season: David Hutton

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