Brechin 25 Feb 2017 034PLAYOFFS may still stand between some players and their summer break, but for the Stranraer squad, the season is thankfully over.

Having secured their League 1 status for another year, it's a chance for all involved to recharge the batteries, prepare, and decide on their future.

In total, 31 men pulled on the blue jersey this time around.

Over the summer, we'll look back at how each of the Class of 2016/17 got on - starting with squad numbers 1-9.
Cameron Belford
Games: 43
Minutes: 3870
Goals scored: 0

POPULAR goalkeeper Cammy made the permanent switch during the summer after spending the latter part of last season on loan at Stranraer from Wrexham.

Suspended for the first two games of the season, the 28 year old came back into the side for the third group game of the Scottish League Cup against Rangers. The Ibrox side won 3-0 but the Englishman took plenty of plaudits.

Since then, Belford has been an ever present between the sticks for the Blues and after a brief rocky period - which saw him slip against Queen's Park for their killer second goal in September - he returned the form that made him a firm favourite with the Stair Park faithful last season.

2017 brought plenty of highlights for the shot stopper, including a standing ovation from the Aberdeen supporters for his display between the sticks in a 4-0 defeat to the Premiership side.

Belford was the star of the show once more against Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena, pulling off several stunning stops to help new boss Stevie Farrell continue his impressive start at the helm.

And his penalty save against Airdrieonians at Excelsior Stadium helped the Blues pick up a vital 2-1 away win.

Stranraer fans will no doubt be hoping for a return of the likeable goalie, who made his 50th appearance for the club back in February,
Scott Robertson
Games: 42(1)
Minutes: 3809
Goals: 1

FIVE awards sum up another impressive season for Scott Robertson. The all-action defender/midfielder has been a regular fixture since signing under Stevie Aitken back in 2013.

The 29-year-old missed just two games all season and, like David Barron, featured in a number of positions. The ex-Partick Thistle man has starred at centre half and right back.

His first appearance under Stevie Farrell came in a holding midfield role away to East Fife before returning to right back, where his powerful runs down the wing have proven a real strong suit.

Robertson marked his 150th game for the club away to Peterhead, and grabbed his only goal of the season at Balmoor as well. The goal came at the end of a fine flowing move, which evoked memories of Carlos Alberto's strike in the 1970 World Cup final, as he thundered down the wing before smashing past Graeme Smith.

The season ended in fine style with a handful of awards presented to Robertson.
Liam Dick
Games: 42
Minutes: 3755
Goals: 1

FORMER Falkirk defender Liam had already won many admiring glances at the end of last season and fans were delighted when he put pen to paper for a second season at Stair Park.

The left back further enhanced his reputation with a series of impressive displays throughout the season and formed an effective and dangerous partnership on the left wing alongside Willie Gibson.

The 21 year old got his first-ever senior goal in the playoff semi-finals against Livingston last term and doubled his career tally when he scored the opener at Hampden Park in September - with his right foot - when Willie Muir dropped a cross at his feet.

The Stair Park faithful would love to see Dick - who missed just two games all season - stick around for another year and so would his team-mates, who voted him Players' Player of the Year at the end of season awards.
David Barron
Games: 27(1)
Minutes: 2330
Goals: 0

A PRE-SEASON injury delayed the start of David Barron's season, with the defender not featuring until September 10.

The ex-St Mirren man came off the bench as a trialist against East Fife and started the next game against Albion Rovers before Brian Reid offered him a deal until the end of the season.

Since then, the defender has been a regular fixture under both Reid and Stevie Farrell to clock up a total of 28 appearances - the most he has played since 2009/10.

The 29-year-old has played at right back and in central midfield for the Blues but it was at the heart of the defence where he has caught the eye. Under Farrell, Barron and loan signing Morgyn Neill formed a formidable partnership, which helped edge the Blues away from the relegation battle.

Having been offered a new deal, he will be looking to continue his successful return to first team action.
Frank McKeown
Games: 12(6)
Minutes: 1100
Goals: 2

IT ALL started off so well.

Popular defender Franko had played more than 160 times for Stranraer during his first spell at the club. And returning after an injury-ravaged season at Greenock Morton, he spoke about wanting to pass the 200 appearance mark for the Blues.

McKeown began the campaign with a bang, netting the first goal of the season against Annan Athletic and following it up with the vital second against East Stirlingshire just three days later.

Unfortunately, those were really the high points for the 30 year old. He would make just ten more starts, along with half a dozen substitute appearances to take his total for the Blues up to 192.

His final appearance in a Stranraer shirt came on Christmas Eve at home to Airdrieonians. Speaking to the official website shortly after leaving, he paid tribute to those behind the scenes and added: "If I had my choice, it would have worked out in a different way but it is one of those things."

Now, McKeown - who refused to rule out a return in the future - is hoping to help Alloa Athletic over the finish line and an immediate return to the Championship.
Luke Watt
Games: 6(6)
Minutes: 650
Goals: 0

ONE of several loan signings made by Brian Reid, Watt came with a decent pedigree. The teenager had made his debut in January 2015 for Motherwell, and made more than half a dozen appearances for the Steelmen before joining the Blues in September.

Watt was handed his debut as a substitute, replacing David Barron for the final 32 minutes against Albion Rovers. Perhaps one of his highlights came in the 5-0 win away to Stenhousemuir, where he teed up Christian Nadé for the fifth goal.

The 19 year old made his first start against East Fife and played the full 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw. He kept his place for ties against Peterhead, Queen's Park and Albion Rovers before dropping out of the team.

The defender's final showing came at Hampden Park on Hogmanay when he replaced Craig Thomson for the final eight minutes. After his loan spell ended, Watt moved on a loan deal to East Fife where injury interrupted his spell at Bayview.
Amadou Kassaraté
Games: 0(13)
Minutes: 234
Goals: 2

BROUGHT in on loan from Stevie Farrell's former club Dumbarton, Kassaraté added another option up front. The striker made his debut away to Livingston, with the Blues picking up a vital point.

Since then, the frontman, who is eligible for Senegal and England, has continued to appear from the bench and clock up appearances for Stranraer. He has made regular cameos during Stranraer's battle for survival and gained experience for himself as well.

Unquestionably, the highlight of his time at Stranraer came against Stenhousemuir at the beginning of April. The Blues looked to have the game in the bag with a 2-0 lead but Kassaraté came off the bench and scored a spectacular overhead kick to cement all three points and pick up his first-ever senior career goal as well.

The frontman also grabbed the final goal of the season against East Fife, following up on the rebound after Willie Gibson's shot was saved.
Smart Osadolor
Games: 0(1)
Minutes: 28
Goals: 0

ONE of a select few players to have pulled on a Stranraer shirt and not to have played a single competitive game at Stair Park, Smart Osadolor signed a pre-contract with Stranraer towards the end of last season and was at Almondvale to see his future side reach the playoff final.

However, his stay at Stranraer would turn out to be very, very brief. Having played in a number of friendly matches, Osadolor made his one and only competitive appearance under Brian Reid at his former club, Annan Athletic.

The Blues had gone 1-0 up through Christian Nadé when Osadolor came on, and they would go on to secure a 2-1 win, with Frank McKeown also on target.

However, that was as good as it got for the 26 year old in Wigtownshire. He was an unused substitute against East Stirlingshire, Rangers and Motherwell but left soon after.

Since then, he has had spells at East Kilbride and Rossvale Juniors before returning back to Galabank and Annan Athletic. Four goals later, and it looks like Smart is enjoying himself again.
Steven Bell
Games: 39
Minutes: 3362
Goals: 3

CLUB captain Bell has played more than 56 hours of football this season, and was a key player under both managers.

The 32-year-old missed the first two games of the season against Annan Athletic and East Stirlingshire before starting against Rangers. He came off at half time at Ibrox, but has rarely failed to finish 90 minutes since then.

Bell began the season at the heart of the Stranraer defence and grabbed his first goal of the season when he scored against East Fife in October. He also scored against Stenhousemuir the following month, before moving into a defensive midfield role when Farrell took charge at the end of January.

A late strike in Farrell's first home game in charge - against Albion Rovers - took his total to three.

An ankle injury against the same opposition, this time at Cliftonhill, seemed to end his season early but, after missing ties against Airdrie and Brechin, he returned for the final two games of the season. Already offered a new deal by Farrell.
Craig Malcolm
Games: 39(4)
Minutes: 3371
Goals: 18

ONCE again, Craig Malcolm finished Stranraer's top scorer after finding the net 18 times - almost double the tally of any other player in the squad.

The total was also the hitman's best for the club since he returned after a season at Ayr United.

Malky started the season with a bang with a goal against East Stirlingshire in the League Cup, and scored all three of Stranraer's goals in the opening two league games, despite his side conceding ten at the other end.

Four goals in just 28 minutes against Spartans in the IRN-BRU Cup was an impressive day at the office, and the East Kilbride native also netted in wins at Hampden and Ochilview.
Brechin 25 Feb 2017 022
Unfortunately, the double at Stenhousemuir in mid-October was the start of a lengthy goal drought. The striker failed to find the net until Albion Rovers in February.

The game was also Stevie Farrell's first home tie as Stranraer manager, and the change of boss and formation coincided with a return to form for the frontman.

Malcolm then made his own little piece of history against Brechin when he scored his 100th goal for the club. Not content with that, he added another four goals to his tally in the final few months to take his Stranraer total to 104 goals in 250 games.
Check back later in the week for the second part of our look at the Class of 2016/17.

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Arbroath 21 52
2 Raith Rovers 21 39
3 East Fife 21 35
4 Forfar Athletic 21 33
5 Airdrieonians 21 30
6 Montrose 21 28
7 Stranraer 20 23
8 Dumbarton 21
9 Brechin City 20 19
10 Stenhousemuir 21 16


2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
2 - Daniel Higgins (DEF)

3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andy McDonald (DEF)
5 - David Brownlie (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - Mark Lamont (MID)
8 - Kyle Turner (MID)
11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
20 - PJ Crossan (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)
24 - Conor O'Keefe (MID)