Name Jean-Yves M’voto
Position: Centre Back
Less than a week after Raith Rovers were relegated, he made the journey along the A92 to East End Park to become their first signing of the window.
The reining Rovers player of the season brings a no-nonsense attitude, and his positioning to clearing balls into the area is what the Pars have lacked for quite some time. This ability has likely come from his predominantly English lower league career which pertains a lot of “hoofball” and physical battles with big, burly centre forwards.
While he is not an upgrade on Ben Richards-Everton’s potential as a ball-playing defender or Callum Fordyce’s leadership qualities, his ability to come on late in a game and attempt to close it out may prove vital across the course of the campaign.
As a third choice option, he is perfect. Callum Morris and Lee Ashcroft would not necessarily wow in the top flight, but they are a capable partnership to challenge for the Championship title.
Name: Fraser Aird
Position: Right Back/Right Midfield
Eyebrows were raised with this signing because it did not seem that they needed another wide player in what was a position of great depth and quality.
Yet, as a different option at full back, and even as a wing back (in a 3-5-2) he may be worth the punt as a backup to Ryan Williamson.
The boyhood Rangers fan achieved his dream of playing for the club as he won their young player of the year award in the 2013-14 campaign, a season in which he helped them to the League One title. He also scored at Easter Road for Canada against his parents’ home country, Scotland.
It is time to kick on though, after a stint in his homeland with Vancouver Whitecaps, he found himself on the outs with then Gers manager, Mark Warburton and landed at Falkirk in January. At the Bairns he only started five games at right midfield before he was moved on in May.
Name: Aaron Splaine
Position: Centre Midfield
Splaine was one from left field on the face of it, but when you dig down you can see why Allan Johnston was keen to give him a chance to prove himself. Johnston had previously seen him in the youth setup at Queen of the South and took him to Kilmarnock.
A foot injury hampered him after his release from Killie and went to trial at the start of the year to Burnley and Leeds United while Stranraer involved him in the development team.
Splaine believes that one of his strongest attributes is his work ethic, and that is clear as you watch him on the field as he is eager to close down opponents to tackle them and win possession of the ball.
By no means is he a starter in this team, but he is more suited to what the manager wants as opposed to Lewis Spence, who never seemed to be Johnston’s ideal central midfielder.
Name: Dean Shiels
Position: Secondary Striker
Shiels is being utilised out of position due to the lack of depth in the centre of the park. Yet, his experience and ability has not seem him perform under par as a number eight.
The squad is a good age, but they lack those experienced heads of playing in the top flight. Shiels has done so with Hibernian and Kilmarnock and with him being soon to be 33, he is the eldest of the 22 first-teamers.
Giving the fact that he has won everything shy of the Scottish Cup and the Premiership and played over 100 top-flight games. He can bring those experiences of a winning mentality to the dressing room, and that can only be a positive.
Name: Andy Ryan
Position: Centre Forward
The former Accies striker is the first player Dunfermline spent a transfer fee on since his former teammate at New Douglas Park, David Hopkirk.
He hit the ground running with a double against Arbroath in the Challenge Cup as he showed glimpses of being a younger version of Nicky Clark; in that of being an instinctual finish whose positioning in the box is second to none at this level.
It is a step up from knocking 37 goals past part-time opposition the last two seasons in his last 58 starts. Although, if Clark can do it then so can Ryan. His goals to start ratio is remarkable at 0.56 whereas Clark sits at 0.48.
He will have to bide his time to be a regular in the starting XI, but he will have his chances in a position of the park that is full of quality.
Name: Declan McManus
Position: Centre Forward
Johnston had always wanted to recruit McManus ever since he arrived at the club. Yet, after helping Greenock Morton to the League One title, he moved on from Aberdeen to Fleetwood Town but soon found himself back at Cappielow.
After the season end, he missed out on his target again as Steven Pressley loaned him out to Gary Locke’s Raith Rovers as he would become the first choice striker at Stark’s Park.
It was third time lucky though as he became the second player to arrive via Kirkcaldy following Yves M’voto. It took a little convincing to get the support on side. Yet, his goals against Falkirk, Hearts and St Mirren have appeased even the most ardent of doubters.
He offers something different to Clark, Ryan and Callum Smith that is the ability to hold the ball up and bring Kallum Higginbotham and Joe Cardle into play. He is also the perfect foil for Clark as he can do the running for the former Rangers striker.
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