Arbroath’s success can be traced back a few years to when Dick Campbell laid the foundations of his squad.
But every year, players come and go.
Last season was no different, with 11 players brought to the club in the 2021/22 campaign.
Here, Courier Sport has taken a look at the players brought to the club at the start of last season and midway through – and rated their impact out of 10.
Liam Henderson, from Edinburgh City. Rating: 7/10
Henderson was brought in on a permanent deal from Edinburgh City last summer.
A natural centre-back, he faced an uphill task competing with Tam O’Brien and Ricky Little for the position.
The 25-year-old proved to be a reliable player, who plugged a number of gaps across the season in defence, central midfield and, latterly, left midfield.
‘Hendo’ featured 34 times in all competitions, scoring twice, but is soon to be out of contract.
Whether he returns to Gayfield next season or seeks regular game time elsewhere is yet to be seen.
Calum Antell, from Edinburgh City. Rating: 4/10
Another player from the Citizens, Calum Antell was brought in as a back up to Derek Gaston.
The Welsh keeper made his debut in the 1-0 win over Elgin last July, but days later was sent off at Gayfield against East Fife. The Lichties were forced to put midfielder David Gold between the sticks before running out 2-0 winners.
After that, the stopper found his appearances limited, covering for Gaston in the 1-0 win over Ayr in March.
The 29-year-old was given another chance a week later against Raith Rovers but a blunder gifted the visitors their opening goal in the 3-3 draw.
Antell featured for the final time in the meaningless 3-0 win over Morton. He has since penned a pre-contract agreement with Berwick Rangers.
Dylan Paterson, from Bo’ness United. Rating: N/A
Brought in from junior side Bo’ness, Dylan Paterson is highly-regarded by Dick Campbell and seen as one for next season.
After joining, the 22-year-old was loaned back to the Lowland League side.
In January, he made the step up to League Two, where he featured 12 times on loan at Stirling Albion.
Anton Dowds, on loan from Falkirk. Rating: 8/10
The 25-year-old’s move to Gayfield may have come about due to ex-Arbroath stars Paul Sheerin and Danny Denholm, but it was Dowds himself who made the most of his chance on the Angus coast.
Arriving low on confidence, Dick Campbell brought out the best in the striker.
Dowds scored the goal which stunned Kilmarnock in November and sent his side top of the Championship before Christmas.
Unfortunately for the Lichties, he quickly hit the sort of form that saw Falkirk move to bring him back into the fold.
Despite Abroath’s attempts to keep him, Dowds scored a hat-trick in his first game back for the Bairns.
The striker will come up against Arbroath next season after penning a pre-contract deal with Partick Thistle.
Harrison Clark, on loan from Livingston. Rating: 5/10
Harrison Clark showed a lot of promise in his early games in the League Cup.
However, the young midfielder made a big mistake to set up Inverness for their victory on the first day of the season.
After that, the 19-year-old featured just four more times before returning to Livi in January.
Joel Nouble, on loan from Livingston. Rating: 10/10
The first moment Joel Nouble touched the ball, Arbroath knew they had something special, albeit for just half a season.
Club talisman Michael McKenna described the Englishman’s talents as unique in the Scottish game.
Despite his stature, Nouble had the ability to drive at defenders and bamboozle them with his quick feet.
What he lacked in goals, the 26-year-old made up for with the sort of unbeatable hold-up play that allowed Arbroath to push forward in game after game.
‘Noubz’ didn’t shy away from getting involved with the club either, taking part in community training sessions and even a darts masterclass with Alan Soutar.
Nouble made an impact on and off the park and Arbroath would not have finished in 2nd without his early-season influence.
Chris Hamilton, on loan from Hearts. Rating: 9/10
Initially brought in as a right-back, Chris Hamilton soon found his perfect position in front of the back four.
The 20-year-old soon made himself a fans’ favourite with his battling performances at the heart of midfield.
Hamilton was a regular starter, featuring 37 times in total for the Lichties and earning the title of Young Player of the Year at the Arbroath FC awards.
His immediate future is uncertain. He is soon to be released by Hearts and, although he would prefer to play full-time, he has not ruled out a return to Gayfield.
Jack Hamilton, on loan from Livingston. Rating: 8/10.
Brought back for his second loan spell in January, Jack Hamilton aimed to beat the eight goals he bagged for the club in the previous campaign.
It didn’t take long for him to get off the mark, finding the net in his third game as the Lichties came from behind to beat Raith Rovers.
Despite a blistering start, including scoring the winner against Kilmarnock at Gayfield, the 20-year-old then went six games without a goal as Arbroath dipped in form.
Regardless, he made a big impact in at Gayfield, with his final and arguably best strike coming in the 5-1 demolition of Queen of the South.
Craig Wighton, on loan from Dunfermline. Rating: 5/10.
Brought back to Gayfield to fill the Joel Nouble position, Craig Wighton’s move was met with dismay by some Dunfermline fans.
The highly-regarded forward looked to finish what he started for Arbroath after his initial loan spell two years ago was cut short due to Covid.
His second spell seemed to get off to a good start, with the hit man linking up nicely with Jack Hamilton.
He even scored the opener in the Scottish Cup game against Hibs.
But the 24-year-old never quite lived up to the mark.
Sam Ford, Michael Bakare, free agents. Rating: 2/10
Plucked from obscurity, Sam Ford and Michael Bakare arrived at the end of the winter window.
Ford, a former West Ham kid, and Bakare, a footballing journeyman, never really got the opportunity on the pitch to justify their moves to Gayfield.