Latest News

alt description

Tuesday 11th August 2015

SPFL Team of the Week

Craig Fowler selects his SPFL Team of the Week, with Hearts striker Juanma among those included following his two goals at Dens Park on Saturday.

Craig Fowler selects his SPFL Team of the Week, with Hearts striker Juanma among those included following his two goals at Dens Park on Saturday.

Goalkeeper - Rab Douglas (Forfar Athletic)
Forty three years old and no sign of slowing down at Ladbrokes League 1 level, Douglas continues to defy Father Time with a stand-out performance on the first weekend to ensure The Loons took all three points from a difficult trip to Airdrieonians. The former Celtic and Dundee stopper preserved the 1-0 win with two top saves from Liam Watt and another from a fierce Bryan Prunty volley.

Right-back - Scott Taggart (Dumbarton)
All eyes were on gifted Hibernian midfielder Scott Allan after manager Alan Stubbs decided to give him a start amid the distracting interest from other clubs but in the end he wasn't given the chance to shine as Taggart executed a perfect man-marking job, while also aiding Dumbarton's 2-1 upset win with some key clearances towards the end of the match.

Central defence - Virgil van Dijk (Celtic)
His style can make it look easy for the towering Celtic centre-back at times and, after nonchalantly dealing with everything Thistle threw at the away backline, van Dijk decided to amble over to the left wing before beating his marker with a beautiful feint and turn that any winger in Scottish football would have been proud of. His ability with the ball at his feet is so good, you can't help wonder what would happen if Celtic tried him up front for an extended run of games. Ach, who am I kidding? He'd be brilliant there as well. This week's star man.

Central defence - Chris Smith (Clyde)
The Bully Wee's opening-day win wasn't pretty, but considering they were potentially facing their closest rivals for the Ladbrokes League 2 crown, the manner of victory was inconsequential. Stirling Albion put a lot of pressure on Barry Ferguson's side in the second half as they tried to find an elusive equaliser, but on many occasions found their route to goal blocked by Smith, who was such an imposing presence in the visiting defence.

Left-back - Lee Wallace (Rangers)
Rangers look revived under Mark Warburton and they dispatched St Mirren on Friday night with a stylish performance that was a joy to watch. Not only are the new boys bedding in well, the players retained from the previous season seem to be performing with a new lease of life, and this is especially true of the team's galloping left-back. Wallace played with great energy and purpose and was rewarded with a two-goal haul. He didn't play at full-back, he played from there.

Right midfield - Josh Mullin (Albion Rovers)
Few results in the lower leagues shocked observers as much as newly-promoted Albion Rovers comfortably defeating potential title contenders Ayr United with a 3-0 win. The Wee Rovers were aided, in part, by an excellent display from Mullin on the right wing. The 22-year-old got the day off to a flying start when he crossed for Ross Davidson to head home inside two minutes and was a constant threat to the visitors.

Central midfield - Andy Geggan (Dunfermline Athletic)
Dunfermline laid down a marker in Ladbrokes League 1 with a demolition of Brechin City on the opening day. It was 4-0 at half-time and 6-1 by the end of the match, with several Pars players earning themselves serious consideration for a place in this team. Geggan may not have contributed to the scoresheet - instead he showed great tenacity in the centre of the park and gave his team-mates, the flair players in the squad, the platform in which to tear apart their beleaguered hosts.

Central midfield - Ryan Christie (Inverness CT)
Talk from supporters leading up to this match centred around how it was a 'certainty' that St Johnstone were going to dismantle an under-manned Inverness CT team. This writer even had one acquaintance promise he would “eat the Scottish Cup trophy” if John Hughes' side managed to pick up three points from the trip to Perth. In the end, they came very close as only a late Graham Cummins equaliser denied them the three points. The path to victory was on course after Christie had arrowed into the bottom corner midway through the first half. The youngster's sublime first touch and ability to create stood out all game. If he can continue such fine form Inverness will keep their heads above water through this injury crisis.

Left midfield - Joe Cardle (Dunfermline Athletic)
The signing of Cardle this summer gives Dunfermline's strikers a licence to score. Not only is his crossing of a ridiculously high standard for Ladbrokes League 1, he can create through his dribbling ability and can even smash the ball into the back of the net on occasion. He used all three strengths on Saturday in Dunfermline's dominant display at Brechin, netting the pick of the bunch with a swerving effort from the edge of the area that found the top corner.

Centre-forward - Craig Curran (Ross County)
The diminutive Scouser has defined the turnaround in Ross County over the previous nine months. Prior to his arrival, the team looked in trouble and an agonising drift into the second tier was on the cards. He's not solely responsible for the revival, but his tireless work ethic and determination to punch above his weight has helped define who County are under Jim McIntyre. Again at the weekend he ran himself into the ground and never gave the Hamilton defence a moment's peace, while his two poacher's finishes helped his side to victory.

Centre-forward - Juamna (Hearts)
The man who spawned 10,000 Gorgie man-crushes. Having played a huge role in Hearts defeating St Johnstone on the opening weekend, the suave Spaniard was at it again on Saturday as his two goals in the space of seven minutes turned the match on its head at Dens Park and ensured Hearts finished the evening on top of the Ladbrokes Premiership table. Strong, with a delicate touch and a ruthless eye for goal – not to mention a top beard game – the summer recruit from Greece is already a firm favourite with the Hearts support.

Honourable mentions to a number of players who just missed out this week: Ewan McNeil (Berwick Rangers), Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen), Michael Paton (Dunfermline Athletic), Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Dunfermline Athletic) and Iain Russell (Queen of the South).