Lowland League: City boss Jardine rates Spartans favourites

Edinburgh City manager Gary Jardine. Photograph: Malcolm McCurrach
Edinburgh City manager Gary Jardine. Photograph: Malcolm McCurrach
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Edinburgh City manager Gary Jardine reckons Spartans will once again be the team to beat in the Lowland League this season.

The Meadowbank side have been touted as title dark horses by Ainslie Park boss Dougie Samuel, but Jardine said: “I still think that Spartans will be the team to beat. Our objective is to stay closer to them throughout the season. We have analysed where we went wrong last season and have strengthened our squad.”

Jardine has signed five new players: Joe Mbu, a central defender who spent five seasons at Cowdenbeath before joining East Fife last season; John Dunn, a midfielder from Craigroyston; Ross Allum, a striker from Junior outfit Hill of Beath; Chris McKee, a left-sided player who had five seasons at Stirling University; and Jaxon Wishart has been promoted from the Under-19 side.

Aaron James and Daryl Devlin have left to join Forfar and Gala Fairydean Rovers respectively. Jardine said: “Our new signings bring a wealth of experience which I feel we have lacked in recent years since Ross Macnamara took up a coaching role at the club. All of them have their best years ahead of them.”

Edinburgh City begin their league campaign at Vale of Leithen tomorrow and Jardine added: “Their new manager, Mark Lamb, has assembled a strong-looking squad although they remain an unknown quantity. It is important to get off to a good start because that has been our downfall in recent seasons.

“My dream is for Edinburgh City to win the Lowland League and to do that we must stay in touch from the very beginning.”