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The class of 2022/23: defence

Scott Robertson

Scott Robertson

Defender, midfielder and striker – Robertson played in a variety of positions over the course of the campaign.

The first team coach scored Stranraer’s first goal of the season when he found the net against Queen’s Park, and started the season as a striker due to the lack of available options for Jamie Hamill.

Made his 300th appearances for the Blues in a 3-1 defeat away to Stenhousemuir and went on to reach 330 by the end of the season. Scored vital quickfire equaliser in 2-1 win over Albion Rovers at Stair Park and was gradually restored to his more familiar central midfield and defensive roles.

Scored a vital winner away to Elgin City and another equaliser, this time against Stirling Albion. Sent off in Hamill’s final game in charge away to East Fife but returned for the second and third games of the Scott Agnew era.

Will resume his role as player/coach again this season.

  • Games: 35 (including 5 sub appearances)
  • Goals: 4
  • Assists: 1
  • Minutes: 2702

Craig Ross

Craig Ross

A season disrupted by red cards began with an ordering off in a pre-season contest at Falkirk.

Missed two of the four League Cup games but then started to build a promising partnership with Kyle Girvan. Brilliant performance in league opener against Annan Athletic kept Tommy Goss quiet, but was then sent off against Bonnyrigg when the Blues were 2-1 up.

Back into the team but return lasted just under five games with late dismissal against Elgin City. Then only collected four yellow cards from the October until the middle of March. During that time, he helped Stranraer to wins over Stenhousemuir, Stirling Albion, Elgin City and East Fife twice.

Sent off just before the half time interval against Albion Rovers and missed demolition at Bayview Stadium. Back for the final three games of the campaign and kept Kane Hester quiet in vital first game of Agnew era.

Handed Scott Agnew a massive boost by quickly signing on for next season.

  • Games: 30 (including 1 sub appearance)
  • Goals: 0
  • Assists: 0
  • Minutes: 2563

Sean McIntosh

Sean McIntosh

Injury saw him miss the group phase of the League Cup but returned in time for 2-1 win over Albion Rovers at beginning of October.

Constant presence at right back for pretty much the rest of the season as he went on to double his appearance tally in Stranraer shirt. Just a single yellow card all season – same as last term. Also scored his first goal for the Blues (and first goal since April 2019) with close range volley against Stirling Albion in one of the performances of the season.

Really stepped up his game as the season wore on and reached 50 appearances during goalless draw with Annan Athletic.

Picked up prize at end of season awards and already committed for next season.

  • Games: 28 (including 1 sub appearance)
  • Goals: 1
  • Assists: 0
  • Minutes: 2433

Sam Ellis

Sam Ellis

Promising defender who joined on loan from St Mirren last term made the permanent switch during close season.

Departure of Sean Burns allowed him to cement his claim for the left back spot. Started first 12 games of the season and defence-splitting pass set Josh Walker through for goal against FC Edinburgh.

Hooked at half time as Stranraer trailed 4-1 at Stirling Albion and would only make three more starts, alongside seven substitute appearances. Full back was brought back into team for trip to Fraserburgh but was back on bench for following week against Forfar.

Final appearance came in 4-0 defeat at home to rampant Albion Rovers and he soon moved on to Darvel.

  • Games: 22 (including 7 sub appearances)
  • Goals: 0
  • Assists: 1
  • Minutes: 1457

Kyle Girvan

Kyle Girvan

Handled the step up from the West of Scotland Football League with aplomb.

Featured in each of the League Cup group games but was shown a second yellow card in the defeat to Forfar Athletic. Came back into the team and, ultimately, was only member of the Stair Park squad to play more than 3,000 minutes this season.

First goal in a Stranraer shirt came at the opposite end of the country as he scored against Fraserburgh in the Scottish Cup defeat. Sent off against Stenhousemuir in November with Blues leading 2-1, although Grant Gallagher’s quick goal ensured the three points remained at Stair Park.

Continued to improve and mature as the season went on but missed the final four games of the season, including Jamie Hamill’s last game and Scott Agnew’s first three games, through a hamstring injury.

Has since committed to Stranraer for another season.

  • Games: 34
  • Goals: 1
  • Assists: 0
  • Minutes: 3027

Scott Dunn

Scott Dunn

Brought in to challenge Craig Ross and Kyle Girvan as an option at the heart of Stranraer defence.

Then 21-year-old started alongside Girvan on the opening day against Queen’s Park with Ross suspended. Kept his place against Hamilton and then came off the bench against Forfar after Girvan was sent off.

Played the final 21 minutes against Bonnyrigg Rose, this time after Ross was shown a red card. Unfortunately, gave away a stoppage time penalty, which was scored by Lee Currie.

Started against Elgin City, FC Edinburgh and Stenhousemuir before moving out on loan to East Stirlingshire. Later released by the club.

  • Games: 7 (including 2 sub appearances)
  • Goals: 0
  • Assists: 0
  • Minutes: 432

Luke Watt

Luke Watt

Surprise return for the defender, who made a dozen appearances for the club in 2016/17.

Scored his first goal for the club with last minute strike against FC Edinburgh and proved it was not a one-off just a few days later by putting the Blues 2-1 up against East Fife at Stair Park. Was sent off 34 minutes later for an off the ball incident and the Fifers would go on to score a last minute leveller. Netted a late header as Stranraer lost out at Bonnyrigg Rose just two days before Christmas.

Made 35 appearances – and also clocked up two assists. Versatility proved key as he played across the back four. Also came within a whisker of forcing a frantic re-engraving of the goal of the season trophy when he struck the bar from near the halfway line in penultimate game of the season against Stenhousemuir.

Unfortunately, has opted to move on from Stranraer.

  • Games: 35 (including 9 sub appearances)
  • Goals: 3
  • Assists: 2
  • Minutes: 2391

Finn Ecrepont

Finn Ecrepont

Made nine appearances for Ayr United before making the move down the A77 to Stranraer at the end of January.

Debut came in 1-0 loss to eventual champions Stirling Albion before he provided the cross for Craig Malcolm’s final goal for the club away to Forfar Athletic. Forced off with injury away to Elgin City as Stranraer picked up a vital three points. Returned the following month against Stirling and went on to play every minute in the rest of the season.

Mr Consistent at left back and scored his first-ever senior goal in last home game of the season when he slotted through the legs of former Stranraer man Curtis Lyle.

Returns to Somerset Park with some valuable game time under his belt, having previously played for Albion Rovers on loan.

  • Games: 13
  • Goals: 1
  • Assists: 1
  • Minutes: 1103

Aaron Drysdale

Aaron Drysdale (left)

The Scott Agnew era began on April 22 with the Blues very much needing three points against Elgin City.

The new manager’s choices were limited to say the least when it came to first team players. Craig Malcolm and Dean Hawkshaw, who had not played a single minute in 2023, were both named on the bench alongside Harry Mitchell (right), Aaron Drysdale (left) and Carter McKane (centre), who were brought in from the club’s South of Scotland Football League squad.

Full-back Drysdale, who can also play in midfield, did not get on for a debut but provided reassurance to the new manager that, in the event of injuries or dismissals, he had options.

  • Games: 0
  • Goals: 0
  • Assists: 0
  • Minutes: 0