East Fife

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Season Guide
2019/2020

East Fife

In


Lewis Hunter (mid) (Stirling Uni); Chris Higgins (def) (Ayr); Danny Denholm (mid) (Arbroath); Jordan Hart (gk) (Queen’s Park); Stewart Murdoch (def) (Dundee United); Chris Duggan (att) (Raith Rovers); Ryan Wallace (att) (Arbroath)

Out


Mark Docherty (r)(def) (Forfar); Jonny Court (sp)(att) (Edinburgh City); Chris Kane (sp)(def) (Edinburgh City); Scott Linton (r)(def) (Kelty); Daryll Meggatt (k)(def) (Darvel); Daniel Terry (sp)(gk), Mikey Couser (gk) (both released)

East Fife suffered a late-season collapse last term that prevented them from taking a spot in the playoffs that really should have been theirs, and over the course of the forthcoming campaign they will be eager to prove themselves as a top-half club once more. Manager Darren Young has managed to retain the core of the squad that was successful last term, although he has suffered a significant blow in losing Daryll Meggatt. The former Alloa man was, however, rather injury prone, so his influence may not be that evident. Equally, fellow defenders Mark Docherty, Scott Linton and Chris Kane have departed, along with striker Jonny Court. These men were little more than makeweights in the squad. Given the volume of defensive players to depart, it is somewhat surprising that they have not reinforced more significantly in that area. Instead, they have opted for quality over quantity, with Stewart Murdoch and Chris Higgins arriving from Championship high-fliers Dundee United and Ayr respectively. They have added impressively to their forward line. Chris Duggan rarely featured for Raith last season but is a fine target man, while Ryan Wallace is another to return to the club after an unsuccessful spell with Arbroath. Wallace, surely, is guaranteed goals at this level. Also joining from Arbroath is Danny Denholm, who should help to bring more creativity to the midfield sector along, where Scott Agnew will be the key figure. Liam Watt is also a capable creative player, so there is plenty of strength in depth in that area. Equally, Young will hope that Lewis Hunter’s arrival from Stirling Uni has a similar impact to that of Anton Dowds in attack last season. Young typically fields squads that are well balanced and difficult to score against, and his team look in good shape ahead of the start of the new campaign. It has been reflected in their League Cup victories over Stenhousemuir and Dundee United, though they will see the 2-0 loss to Cowdenbeath as a major disappointment. Injuries badly hampered the Fifers last season along with a fixture backlog that stretched their small squad. They will hope for better luck on both fronts this time around.

Target


Safety is what East Fife are aiming for first and foremost, but they have a squad that is capable of pushing for the playoffs if they can gain a bit of momentum. Bettering last season’s sixth place will be the real target.

Season Review
2018/2019

№7: East Fife

East Fife’s season ultimately ended in disappointment as they missed out on the promotion playoffs. Realistically, at the beginning of the campaign, the best that Darren Young’s side might have hoped for was comfortably mid-table security, but a strong run towards the end of 2018 saw them entrenched firmly in the top four and even vying for second place for a period. The end of the season proved to be nothing short of a disaster. There was a perfect storm in terms of fixture congestion, injury problems and a loss of confidence that led to their spiralling down to the middle of the standings. Their fortunes began to deteriorate after a shoulder injury for midfielder Scott Agnew, who was a vitally important player. He never regained his top level after a few weeks on the sidelines, and the whole side suffered as a result. There were success stories for the Fifers, most notably Anton Dowds in attack, who was plucked from university football and turned into a formidable player for this level. Veteran Kevin Smith chipped in well while Rory Currie’s injury towards the end of the campaign proved costly as he was always a terrific option on the bench. Defensively, East Fife could have been stronger, particularly from set pieces, and also in moments of crisis. Again, they suffered from physical issues, with Daryll Meggatt and Craig Watson, their two outstanding players in this area, missing critical games. Manager Young might also take a look at his own performance over the course of the campaign. He made some strange calls, sometimes overcomplicating matters when it might have been better to simplify them, with players featuring out of position. Largely speaking, though, he did a fine job, particularly carrying the momentum of the team when things were going well. East Fife will reflect upon this campaign as a missed opportunity, but fortune worked against them when it was perhaps most critical.


Player of the Season: Daryll Meggatt

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