2015/16 Dunfermline Athletic player ratings

Goalkeepers

Sean Murdoch – 8

A few minor problems with his game that can be exploited. However, the shot-stopped was successfully called upon to make important saves late on in close ties. By April 30, he finished with 17 clean sheets, and a club record for minutes without conceding in the league.

David Hutton – 5

While he did not wow in the games he featured, the elder of the two keepers has played his part as a number two perfectly and injecting some real personality and character into the dressing room.

Defenders

Ben Richards-Everton – 7

“Big Ben” has come on during his time at East End Park and is not far from being as well-rounded a central defender you will find outside of the top flight in Scotland. He played in 43 of the 45 Pars games, and due to injury and transfers, he was the only centre back to appear in over 20 matches.

Jason Talbot – 7

He may have big booted Sam Nicholson the season before, but Talbot was very measured in his approach to tackling from the games I saw. Never shirked responsibility and realised that he had a lack of pace, but was very rarely bettered by a nippy winger. An experienced member of this young squad.

Craig Reid – 7

Shaun Rooney was dreadful in the defeat to Airdrieonians near the end of the winter transfer window. This was enough for Johnston to make the decision to bring in the former Motherwell full back. By the end of the campaign, he made as many appearances as Rooney and only Martin popped up more at the position. Worked well in tandem down the right flank with Michael Paton.

Marc McAusland – 7

The former St Mirren captain came in at a pivotal time in the club’s season and contributed to the six league clean sheets in a row. He left to achieve his ambition to play abroad and went with the fans’ best wishes as an integral part of the squad that returned Athletic to the second tier.

Lewis Martin – 6

Quite rightly won the Young Player of the Year and was one of the first names on the teamsheet for Allan Johnston when fit. Most of the defenders had no luck with injury, and Martin was no exception. Whether it be the scary car crash that ruled him out or the heart issue that required to be resolved over Christmas, the fact that he played in half of the games is remarkable.

Ryan Williamson – 6

The lanky full back was unfortunate again to suffer a serious injury but still managed to reach match fitness to finish out the season on a bright note. Looked dangerous when going forward and his final ball has improved immeasurably. A good pre-season and a year of full fitness will show everyone why Pars fans rave about him.

Brad McKay – 6

Ended up being Richards-Everton’s most consistent partner and while he did have a few brain farts, he strolled most outings with his overwhelming strength. Endeared himself to the Pars faithful by doing the Leishman Airplane celebration when coming out to lift the League One title.

Callum Fordyce – 6

A nasty leg injury cut the captain’s debut season short in September. Looked every bit the part though and hopefully he can do enough in the summer for Allan Johnston to keep him on for another year to show Dunfermline fans what he can do over a campaign.

Shaun Rooney – 3

A real promising youngster, but a few incidents off the field overshadowing his potential. The fact that he switched off all too often is likely why Hearts and St Mirren passed over him last summer. I hope he comes good in the end because he does have what it takes to be a very nice full back.

Midfielders

Andy Geggan – 9

Geggan stepped up to take the captaincy once again for the majority of the season and rose to the occasion and quite rightly earned Team of the Year considerations. He was everywhere tracking down the ball with as keen a nose as a Basset Hound and was every bit as vital as El Bakhtaoui in terms of success to the team.

Michael Paton – 8

I was skeptical of the signing when it was announced, but I soon became the driver of the Michael Paton fan bus. While not blessed with pace to take a defender on, he can certainly fizz in a ball with superb accuracy. Only Joe Cardle assisted more than the former Queen of the South right mid.

Josh Falkingham – 6

“Wee Falky” is a thorn in the side of whatever opponent he comes up against, channeling his Yorkshire personality with a touch of the small man syndrome sees an individual that is always up for the battle in the center of the park and will not back down with his tireless energy and drive. Just disappointing in his final product which should have seen add more goals and assists to his game.

Shaun Byrne – 6

I think Byrne got a raw deal. He had improved after stagnating out on the right under Jim Jefferies. After making 20 appearances up until Christmas, he was only seen periodically in 2016. The fact that he became an all-round midfielder by the end of his tenure at the club shows the fight he had to succeed. Livi are getting a great playmaker.

Rhys McCabe – 4

You may remember him breaking through at Ibrox four years ago and like Byrne he found his chances to be fleeting. While he was the third most used substitute for Johnston, he rarely got to express what he was capable of doing on the field of play. One I hope that is retained because I believe he can be that attacking force in the middle of the park that the side lacks.

Forwards

Faissal El Bakhtaoui – 10

Just phenomenal. Not since the days of Stevie Crawford has a forward brought so much joy and happiness to the crowd on Halbeath Road. A remarkable transition from being shunted out on the wing (a trend under Jefferies) to being a danger man in the box. If anybody in Scotland has a better touch, I have yet to see it and he was the first player in those black and white strips to score 30 goals in a season since the great John Watson.

Joe Cardle – 9

A fan favorite that has improved from the infuriating, flash winger in his last spell to an inspirational character on and off the pitch. Double figures in goals and assists prove how exceptional he has been and when he did not feature the French Moroccan and the team suffered as a result without his creative spark.

Michael Moffat – 6

Very much the forgotten man at the club when it comes to plaudits, but the former Ayr hitman has sacrificed his own game to facilitate and help El Bakhtaoui’s. While he does miss a sitter now and then, his intelligence and calmness on the ball makes you wonder why he was in the Junior game and not at a full-time outfit sooner.

Ryan Wallace – 5

An infuriating player that always came off the bench and tended to make an impact more often than not. However, he did find the net on a pretty regular basis and when he failed to do that he was always playing that penetrating ball through for a teammate to finish. Will be a good asset for a side at the League One level with aspirations of promotion.

David Hopkirk – 5

Another player resigned to the impact sub role, but Johnston has belief in him otherwise, he would not have offered the winger a two-year deal shortly after the title was wrapped up. One thing for certain though, is that he is not a left winger, but does offer a more direct option to Paton on the right. Never stops working and that will flourish him into a dangerous threat sooner rather than later.

Mickaël Antoine-Curier – 2

Struggled to find match fitness and as a result always seemed a yard of the pace. It was a move that made sense because he gave a different option to what Johnston had up top, but just never came good.


You can follow @MichaelWood_SJ on Twitter.

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