Another Scottish Championship season is nearly upon us and as with every season in the Scottish Championship it is anyone’s guess as to how things will go for the most part.
Hearts and Raith Rovers, relegated from the Scottish Premiership and winners of League One last season respectively, join the league for the shortened 2020/21 season which will last for 27 games.
The campaign is set to get underway on Friday October 16th with Hearts and Dundee contesting what will surely be a real grudge match after what went down after Scottish football was brought to a halt due to COVID-19.
Pure Chamionship Podcast hosts Cammy Anderson and Chris Samson have come up with five players that YOU should be keeping an eye on during this season.
Dominic Thomas – Dunfermline Athletic
Thomas initially arrived at Dunfermline on loan in the January transfer window and although he only played eight games before the season was curtailed due to the COVID-19 crisis, he did enough for the Pars to fork out an undisclosed fee to sign him permanently in the Summer transfer window.
Thomas scored one goal – an absolute belter against Inverness (see below) – and also assisted five goals for his teammates.
This season, Thomas, who is contracted to the Pars for the next two years, will undoubtedly be called upon by manager Stevie Crawford to provide creativity and create chances for new strike force Declan McManus and Kevin O’Hara.
Miko Virtanen – Arbroath (on loan from Aberdeen)
After a stellar season long loan spell with Red Lichties last term, Virtanen – much to the delight of both Chris and Cammy – is back at Gayfield for another season.
The Finish international midfielder was an absolute rock in the middle of the park for Dick Campbell’s side and it seemed that he would stop virtually anything that came anywhere close to him.
Virtanen is not a goalscorer, nor a creator, but that does not mean that he is any less exciting to watch.
The 21-year-old, who is owned by Aberdeen, has a lot to like about his game including his ability to intercept and break up play as well as not being scared to get himself stuck in and do the dirty work.
Luke McCowan – Ayr United
For anyone who listened to any of the podcasts last season you’ll know that McCowan is a real Pure Championship favourite and we think he’s got a big season ahead. The young Scot will be tasked with filling the void left by Alan Forrest, who’s started the Premiership season superbly at Livingston.
The highly versatile 22-year-old, who is primarily a right winger but also capable of playing on the opposite side, through the middle or even up top, scored five goals and tallied as many assists in 24 Championship appearances.
Forrest had been a real talisman for Ayr in recent seasons and it now remains to be seen whether McCowan can take his game up another level and make Ayr fans forget about Forrest.
Aidan Nesbitt – Greenock Morton
Nesbitt is another player who’s got a big season ahead of him. It seems as though he’s been an “upcoming prospect” for years, before you realise he’s now 23-years-old and has just over 100 career appearances to his name.
Morton is the club where he’s played the majority of those matches as he now goes into his third year overall at the club, over two separate spells. It’s a big season for the wide man as the club lost their talismanic wide man from last season over the summer.
Nicky Cadden all but carried the side at times last season with double figures for goals and assists. Nesbitt wasn’t too far behind with five goals and seven assists but the fans favourite will be looking to add to that this season and improve his final product.
Dylan Tait – Raith Rovers
The final player on this five to watch is a new player to the league and at just 18-years-old, he’s the youngest player on our list. Kieron Bowie might have made the headlines for Raith Rovers on their way to winning League 1 last season but we think Dylan Tait will be grabbing some this season.
He’s drawn some comparisons to Michael Carrick in the way that he plays. He’s got a nice range of passing, he’s able to break the lines and he plays with a confidence that would shock most irregular onlookers to lower league matches. I think he’s a little different to Carrick though in the way that he carries the ball.
Whether Raith Rovers will be able to replicate what we saw from Arbroath after their League 1 title winning season remains to be seen. Either way, we’re looking forward to watching what Tait can do at this higher level.
If you want to listen to Chris and Cammy previewing the 2020/21 Scottish Championship season, find us on the Pure Fitbaw feed or listen below.