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Tuesday 4th August 2015

SPFL Team of the Week

Craig Fowler selects his first SPFL Team of the Week for season 2015/16, with Dundee duo Greg Stewart and Gary Harkins among those included.

Craig Fowler selects his first SPFL Team of the Week for season 2015/16, with Dundee duo Greg Stewart and Gary Harkins among those included.

Goalkeeper - Tomas Cerny (Partick Thistle)
The former Hamilton Accies keeper pulled off an outstanding second-half save to earn his side a point and endear himself to his new supporters. This summer's transfer business has been a frustrating experience for Jags boss Alan Archibald, as he's been forced to be patient in his search for new players, but the general consensus saw him widely praised for the capture of Cerny, who never really got a look-in with Hibs in the second half of last season.

Right-back - Callum Paterson (Hearts)
Hearts' 4-3 victory against St Johnstone on Sunday saw Paterson playing at his dominating best. The powerful running, the aerial ability, the undeniable goal threat despite playing from full-back - it was all there in front of the BT Sport cameras. Even his crossing - considered to be one of the more inconsistent aspects of his game - was on point, demonstrated by that outrageously good pass for Sam Nicholson's winning goal.

Centre-half - Virgil van Dijk (Celtic)
Imperious as always, the amazing thing about van Dijk is his ability to be so dominant without ever coming close to breaking sweat. There's not really much else to say, other than this will be the first of many appearances in this team if Celtic can hold on to him past this transfer window.

Centre-half - Louis Laing (Motherwell)
Having witnessed him grow in stature during his initial loan spell, Motherwell smartly snapped up the young defender when he became available this summer. It's clear his confidence and poise have improved so much over his Fir Park career as he strolled through his side's 1-0 victory in Inverness. Much has been made of the hosts' inability to get a shot on target, the criticism of which unfairly detracts from the Motherwell backline, who deserve praise for the shut-out.

Left-back - James Tavernier (Rangers)
He's not a left-back but is deliberately shoe-horned into this select XI for his tremendous performance in Rangers' 3-0 victory over Peterhead in the League Cup. The signings made by new boss Mark Warburton have looked impressive thus far and none more so than the full-back. Quick, with a wicked right foot and plenty of running power, he's going to have a storming season in the Ladbrokes Championship.

Right midfield - Bobby Linn (Arbroath)
There were three divisions between the two sides at Tynecastle last Thursday but you wouldn't have known looking at Linn's battle with Hearts full-back Kevin McHattie. If the Jambos youngster thought he was in for an easy night, he was given a rude awakening by the Arbroath wide man, who continually made McHattie sweat with his pace and trickery. One of League 2’s best players last season, Linn is ready to have another great campaign.

Central midfield - Gary Harkins (Dundee)
The next time Harkins concedes possession to an opponent might be the first time this season. Played deeper in Dundee's system than he would normally operate, the talented midfielder was tasked with moving the play from front to back while ensuring his side kept possession. Not only did he do that superbly, he threw in a technically excellent assist in the visitors' 4-0 drubbing of his former club Kilmarnock.

Central midfield - Shaun Byrne (Dunfermline)
Two goals and a really energetic performance in the middle of the park for Dunfermline helped the Pars register a 5-1 hammering of potential League 1 title rivals Cowdenbeath in a one-sided contest at East End Park. The midfielder drilled in a low shot to double his side's advantage on 57 minutes and headed them 4-1 in front later in the match.

Left midfield - Greg Stewart (Dundee)
One-season wonder? Not a chance. Any notion that the 2014/15 campaign was a fluke was wiped away when Stewart drew back his lethal left foot and smashed the ball into the top corner of the Kilmarnock net from 25 yards. And while it didn't quite match the spectacular opener, his second of the day (Dundee's fourth) displayed his excellent poise and composure as he side-stepped a couple of challenges before coolly dispatching the ball high into the net.

Centre-forward - Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Dunfermline)
The Moroccan formed a fluid partnership with Michael Moffat and kept his confidence up despite being more than a little wasteful in the first half. His persistence paid off when he lashed in Dunfermline's opener and he put the finishing touches on an emphatic victory when he slalomed between the visiting backline before placing the ball into the far corner for his side's fifth and final goal. Unfortunately, his day did end on a downer when he limped off following that terrific run. Maybe he'll feel better to know he's this team's star man.

Centre-forward - Peter Weatherson (Annan Athletic)
Nobody gave Annan much of a chance against Queen of the South. Instead, the Galabankies can consider themselves tremendously unlucky that they didn’t earn a passage into the next round of the League Cup as Dale Hilson's injury-time equaliser dealt the harshest of blows. They had put themselves in position to pull off a shock, due in no small part to the continued goalscoring prowess of the veteran Weatherson. He maintained his excellent goals-to-games ratio from last season with two strikes on a day where he continually made himself a threat in the opposing box.