TSFA Predictions 2022/23 – Leagues One and Two

League One

Airdrieonians

After missing out on promotion to the Championship by the slimmest of margins, Airdrie need to pick themselves up and go again once more. However, in arguably the most competitive League One ever, I believe they will find it tough to achieve any form of promotion goal. With Ian Murray departing for Raith Rovers and taking star player Dylan Easton with him, new Diamonds player-manager Rhys McCabe may just be looking to to mid-table to solidify this important transition period. 

Prediction – 6th

Alloa Athletic

Since relegation to League One a couple years ago, Alloa have hardly been pulling up any trees. There is no doubt in some of the quality and experience that lies within the squad, but I just believe other clubs in this years’ division are better equipped for a higher placed finish. 

Prediction – 7th

Clyde

Clyde are in a bit of a weird place at the minute. Having lost the right to host matches at Broadwood, the club will be playing out of Hamilton’s New Douglas Park. Finishing 8th last season may have been considered a relative success, but I believe the quality of the sides around them this time around will see them fall victim to relegation. 

Prediction – 10th

Dunfermline Athletic

Last seasons’ shock relegation will still be a sore one to take for Pars fans. The failed Peter Grant experiment plus an unflattering John Hughes stint has seen the Fife side into League One once more. However, with a hungry new manager in James McPake and the beginnings of a strong and experienced squad, I cannot see beyond the Pars for automatic promotion to the Championship. 

Prediction – 1st

FC Edinburgh

After promotion to Scotland’s third tier for the first time in the club’s history, newly renamed FC Edinburgh will do well to stay in such a strong division. They have remained generally loyal to the squad of players that have taken them up, but I am unsure if they possess the quality to remain a League One club come the end of the season. However, the capital club have the privilege of their geographical position to attract players and strong links to fellow Edinburgh clubs Hibs and Hearts. Whether this is good enough remains to be seen.

Prediction – 9th

Falkirk

It is fair to say that Falkirk have been the SPFL’s primary banter club the past few seasons. They will compete in the third tier for the fourth season running in 2022/23; not even making the play-offs last year. Weird board Q&As and disastrous signings aside, I feel this season may be a bit more successful. With John McGlynn at helm and a few smart signings already made, a push for promotion looks increasingly likely this time around.

Prediction – 2nd

Kelty Hearts

After back-to-back promotions, I feel Kelty may meet their level in this highly competitive League One, at least for this season. After the departure of Kevin Thomson, new gaffer John Potter has the backing to build on an already impressive squad of players. If they are to be promoted yet again, I believe the play-offs will have to be their chosen method. 

Prediction – 3rd

Montrose

The Mighty Mo have come a long way. From avoiding relegation to the Lowland League only a short time ago, to potential Championship contenders is a hugely impressive feat. They have been increasingly likeable as a club and have shown what they can do on the pitch. However, like other clubs, I believe they will fall victim to just how strong other clubs are in this years’ League One. 

Prediction – 5th

Peterhead

The Blue Toon have been a relatively stable League One club over the past 3 seasons, and I believe they will continue this trend in 2022/23. Jim McInally is a hugely experienced manager and will no doubt bring in a load of talented players to ensure Peterhead retain their status in the Scottish third tier. 

Prediction – 8th

Queen of the South

Newly relegated Queens come into the third tier in a pickle. In any other season, it would be expected that a relatively stable Championship level side would be considered amongst the firm favourites for the League One title. However, with the competitiveness of the league, they might find it difficult to assert themselves as one of the top dogs. I expect them to finish in the play-off places, but another season in League One looks likely. 

Prediction – 4th

PredictionClub
1st – (Automatic Promotion)Dunfermline Athletic
2nd (Play-Offs)Falkirk
3rd (Play-Offs)Kelty Hearts
4th (Play-Offs)Queen of the South
5thMontrose
6thAirdrieonians
7thAlloa Athletic
8thPeterhead
9th – Relegation Play-OffFC Edinburgh
10th – Automatic RelegationClyde

League Two

Albion Rovers

I feel as though this could be a long, tough season for the Coatbridge side. The club have finished in the lower reaches of League 2 consistently over the last few years, and I feel they will struggle to keep up with other teams around them. With the strength, depth and ambition of clubs in the Highland/Lowland Leagues, if they are to finish bottom, it is difficult to see Rovers surviving a Pyramid Play-Off. 

Prediction – 10th

Annan Athletic

Last season’s play-off finalists came mightily close to promotion to the third tier last season and will still be reeling in a feeling of missed opportunity. They’ve been a consistent League 2 outfit of late; perhaps looking to go a step further in 2022/23. I see no reason why they cannot be contenders in the play-offs where anything can happen.

Prediction – 4th

Bonnyrigg Rose

SPFL new boys Bonnyrigg will be hoping to make an instant and lasting impression on the professional leagues. The former junior outfit have nothing to fear on their arrival to League 2 and have a solid base to have a successful season. Robbie Horn’s squad are desperate to show what they can do, and while I don’t believe they will be a contender for the play-off promotion spots, they’ll be a difficult opponent for any team. 

Prediction – 5th

Dumbarton

I fear for Dumbarton. They’ve been on a downward spiral for a while now on the pitch, while off the pitch it is a confusing and disheartening tale. I fear that with no money coming in and little talent on the field, it leaves them facing a long and difficult season. They’ll do well to avoid the Pyramid Play-Off. 

Prediction – 9th

East Fife

After automatic League One relegation last time out, East Fife will be desperate to bounce straight back up. However, a season or two to regroup and transition as a collective may not be the worst idea. Historically, they’re a pretty decent fourth tier side when asked, and although I do not think automatic promotion is possible this year, they’ll come pretty close.

Prediction – 3rd

Elgin City

The Highlanders had a generally poor season last time out; finishing 9th overall. Manager Gavin Price will obviously be looking for an increase in position and improved performances, which I feel they will do this year. They won’t be pulling up any promotion trees, but will steer clear of any immediate relegation threat with relative ease.

Prediction – 7th

Forfar Athletic

Last season’s runners up to Kelty Hearts will be hoping to go one step further and regain their spot in League One. They certainly have the experience and firepower to do so. Player-manager Gary Irvine has a big job on his hands, but it is one which I feel he will succeed in. 

Prediction – 1st

Stenhousemuir

I feel Stenny could run Forfar incredibly close. They’ve signed some tremendous talent and kept hold of some important core players. The impressive Craig Bryson could prove to be vital as Stenny look to push their way into League One. They might just do it.

Prediction – 2nd

Stirling Albion

Stirling started the season well last time around, then fell into a catastrophic drop from the start of 2022. They must be careful not to fall into this pit once more. They are a solid league side, hoping to push for promotion to League One once more, but I do not believe they’ll get near it this year.

Prediction – 8th

Stranraer

After a mediocre 6th placed finish in 2021/22, Stranraer need to be looking to higher ground. They fell off fairly quickly last year and never looked like challenging at the higher reaches. I cannot see them providing this push in 2022/23 either.

Prediction – 6th

PredictionClub
1st (Automatic Promotion)Forfar Athletic
2nd (Play-Offs)Stenhousemuir
3rd (Play-Offs)East Fife
4th (Play-Offs)Annan Athletic
5thBonnyrigg Rose
6thStranraer 
7thElgin City
8thStirling Albion
9thDumbarton
10th (Pyramid Play-Off)Albion Rovers

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