Dunfermline Athletic will be entering the second tier for the first time in this iteration and will need to strengthen their squad. Here are the five signings they should make:
The 36-year old had two previous spells at the club and made 112 league appearances.
He was in between the sticks the last time the Pars reached the top flight and that experience would be helpful if the side is in a situation in which promotion is achievable.
The former Scotland shot-stopper should be hired as a goalkeeping coach, a position which the backroom staff has not had since Brain Potter’s move to Hamilton over a year ago. He can provide backup to Sean Murdoch and help Cammy Gill progress from the U20s to competition for the number one jersey.
Gallacher already knows the manager, Allan Johnston and assistant, John Potter from their playing days at St. Mirren. In addition, he has been teammates with Andy Geggan, Joe Cardle, Josh Falkingham, Ryan Wallace, Sean Murdoch and Shaun Byrne.
The left back was released by St. Mirren after featuring heavily for the side when it was under the management of Ian Murray. He was out of favour under Alex Rae when Keith Watson came around.
At 22-years-old, he played over 100 times for the Buddies and was a regular starter for them in the Premiership. That competition with Jason Talbot would be welcomed and would balance the defence. It would allow Lewis Martin to provide cover at centre-half, along with Craig Reid – if he were to resign – and both could help out at right back.
Another option that is on the market is Dundee United’s Euan Spark, who can play on either flank, but does not have the experience. At 19 he has started for the Tangerines once before 13 loan appearances at relegated Forfar.
While at Dundee United his career stalled, but picked it back up while at loan at Falkirk before a short spell at Peterhead. At 28 he has found himself as a versatile midfielder at Queen of the South; playing anywhere from a holding role to a number 10. Someone with that range of skill would fit in well alongside Geggan who could use a defensive partner in some of the tougher fixtures in that division.
Not a vital signing by any means, but it could allow Lewis Spence to go on loan again for another season to hone his craft before stepping into that starting eleven permanently for the 2017-18 season. It would also reduce the need for numbers in the middle of the park and allow for reallocation of resources to go to others areas that need stronger depth.
A former Dunfermline trainee who built his career from the lower reaches of the professional game in this country and abroad. White made his debut aged 16 and was the U19’s Player of the Year in the 2009-10 season. However, he was released 12 months later and went to Drogheda United in Ireland before a move to Clyde then Falkirk all in the space of a year and a half.
While impressive at every club he did not break through until he went to Stirling Albion in the fourth tier and found his goalscoring form as the Binos earned promotion. Livingston swooped in to sign him and he repaid them with a couple of seasons in double figures; a must for any good goal scoring centre forward.
At six foot, four inches tall he would give the Pars that big body up top that they have lacked since the days of Craig Brewster, but he is more than one-dimensional. He can provide pace out wide and whip in a good cross as shown by the 26 assists he has laid on in the last four seasons.
Faissal El Bakhtaoui will be moving on shortly with that I have no doubt. Although, he is irreplaceable it is possible to replicate some traits of his game. Such as his ability to stretch defences on the counter. Spence’s two best attributes are his pace and his finishing. His shot conversion was better than the French Moroccan’s and Rory McAllister, the players that scored the most goals (22) in League One this season.
The 22-year-old may find this as his last opportunity to play full-time, having previously done so at Raith Rovers where he scored 20 goals – in the second tier – in 36 starts at the end of his teenage years.
Born in the town, he has that connection with the fans that so few players do nowadays and could find himself in a fruitful partnership that a team with the ambition of playoffs or better need.
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