Arbroath boss Dick Campbell could ‘sign ten players tomorrow’ by going on a transfer spree to add to his Gayfield squad.
Calum Antell, Liam Henderson, Nicky Low and Dylan Paterson have all arrived this summer at Arbroath.
But while Campbell is still active in the transfer market, he wants quality not quantity.
Henderson and Paterson made impressive debuts in the weekend draw with Angus rivals Montrose.
Low also sailed through his first start since making his loan switch permanent.
Campbell also fielded a couple of trialists and Montrose debutants Blair Lyons and Mark Whatley made an instant impact.
Courier Sport was at Links Park for the 1-1 draw to assess some of the summer moves at the Angus clubs:
Arbroath: New signing – Dylan Paterson
A former Rangers and Dundee United youth star, Paterson showed flashes of brilliance during a 29-minute cameo.
Paterson, 21, gave up the game briefly after suffering tragedy in his personal life before joining Junior side Bo’ness.
But with a pint-sized frame and creative flair with his magical left foot, Paterson has already earned a rather lofty tag at Gayfield.
“Messi is his nickname,” said Campbell.
We are very excited to introduce you to our new midfielder, Dylan Paterson
Dylan, who came through the youth ranks at Rangers has caught the eye of many clubs with his creativity + eye for goal.
— Arbroath FC (@ArbroathFC) June 24, 2021
“If you look at his history, it’s tainted with brilliance. He’s a naturally talented footballer.
“Things haven’t gone right for him in his private life but he has come back fighting and I’ve given him a chance.
“There were a lot of clubs after him and you can see why.
“He’s got a real talent, he’s wee and looks similar to Lionel Messi in terms of stature. I hope he’s got half his ability.
“The fans will love him.”
New signing – Liam Henderson
At 6ft 3, with a powerful physique, former Edinburgh City star Henderson is the polar opposite to Paterson in terms of his stature.
Henderson was strong in the tackle, comfortable in possession and looks a real athlete.
“Liam was excellent,” added Campbell. “You can see why we pushed the boat out to get him.”
Trialist – Ciaran Brian
The former St Johnstone and Hibernian youngster has been plying his trade with Swedish fourth tier side Ytterhogdals IK.
Brian, 21, has earned a second look from Campbell after a solid 29 minutes in a right-sided defensive role.
“I had Brian here when we first got up to the Championship,” said Campbell. “He was only 17 or 18 at the time. It was too soon for him but, while it’s early days, he is making me think.”
Trialist – Elie Akobeto
Paris-born attacker Akobeto, 26, started out on Bolton Wanderers but has never established himself after spells in England with Mansfield Town, Grimsby Town and at US sides Atlanta SC and San Diego 1904.
He has been training with Arbroath and while he managed just 11 minutes, it’s unlikely he’ll make the switch to Red Lichties.
“I could go and sign ten players tomorrow,” said Campbell. “But would they add quality to my squad?”
Montrose: New signing – Mark Whatley
GABLE ENDIES SIGN DOUBLE LEAGUE WINNING LICHTIES CAPTAIN
Montrose FC have moved quickly to sign Mark Whatley on a two year deal, bringing the former Arbroath FC captain to Links Park until the summer of 2023. pic.twitter.com/t8v9Dgixwr
— Montrose FC (@MontroseFC) May 12, 2021
Mark Whatley is well known to Arbroath fans having become the most successful captain in the Gayfield side’s 143-year history by leading them to two titles.
Deployed in a midfield trio alongside Terry Masson and Paul Watson, Whatley looked right at home. He will be a very solid signing for the Links Park side.
New signing – Blair Lyons
Winger Lyons, 24, is in his second spell at Montrose after being loaned back to them by Championship new boys Partick Thistle.
Comfortable on the ball and creative-minded, he set up Martin Rennie’s opener and will be another good addition to Montrose.
“We’re recruited well an we’ve recruited early so we’ve had a chance to play with each other,” said Montrose midfielder Andrew Steeves.
“We competed well against an Arbroath side who have set the standard for part-time clubs in Scotland.”
Montrose youngsters – Aidan McKelvie, Jack Bowden & Keir Balfour
Great day for the Academy yesterday as 3 players got their first team debuts. Well done lads hopefully just the beginning for you. 👍👏👏 pic.twitter.com/GIQeYFtAUH
— Montrose FC Club Academy (@MontroseFCYouth) June 27, 2021
Montrose gave debuts to McKelvie, Bowden and Balfour from their academy as Stewart Petrie’s commitment to youth continues. All three looked the part during their 12-minute run-outs.