Top ten SPFL players outside of the Scottish Premiership with Kilmarnock, Cove Rangers and Kelty Hearts all represented


Attention shifted from the Scottish Premiership after the decision was made to bring the winter break forward.

That’s not to say that football north of the border has just stopped.

The Championship, League 1 and 2 have chosen to continue despite a limit of 500 fans.

Part-time Arbroath is at the top of the pile in the second tier with part-time employees Dick Campbell arguably the story of the season so far.

Dunfermline struggles to beat the drop as the Cove Rangers are in a strong position atop League One.

Kelty Hearts simply runs away with League Two under Kevin Thomson.

There is no shortage of talent in the lower leagues and many should really be playing at a higher level.

Scotland football (in alphabetical order by club rather than anything else), put together a list of the top players outside of the top flight.

Thomas o’brien

Tom Walsh of Inverness (left) fights with Thomas O’Brien of Arbroath

Arbroath center-back is a specialist in lower leagues after spells with Cowdenbeath and his rivals Angus Forfar.

Three goals and an assist this season is good in defense, but it’s his job at the back that sees it included.

The Lichties have conceded 15 league goals so far, with Inverness CT behind Kilmarnock on that front.

O’Brien is a big factor in this. There is an argument to be made that he is a contender for the best center-back outside the Premiership, but the desire to stay part-time may have seen him go unnoticed.

Michael mckenna

Michael McKenna in action for Arbroath
Michael McKenna in action for Arbroath

Arbroath is almost the definition of a team that is greater than the sum of their parts.

But if there was a standout, it’s Michael McKenna (Joel Nouble also awarded, but he’s gone soon).

The former Berwick Rangers player has scored 12 goals in attacking midfield so far this campaign and is leading the scorers chart ahead of several forwards.

At 31, a rise in power seems unlikely but if the Gayfield club do the unthinkable and move up this season, he will have played a vital role.

Mitch megginson

Mitch Megginson is tackled by Kyle McLelland of Rangers B
Mitch Megginson is tackled by Kyle McLelland of Rangers B

The Cove Rangers forward has been a goal machine since signing for Cove five years ago.

16 goals and 12 assists in all competitions this season illustrate how important he is to Paul Hartley’s side and has long been a clearly good enough player to play at a higher level.

With five points ahead of Cove at the top of the standings, he might just have the chance to prove it next season.

David goodwillie

David Goodwillie in action for Clyde
David Goodwillie in action for Clyde

It is well known why Goodwillie has spent the last few years with Clyde in League Two and lately League One.

His ability remains clear, however, and is currently League One’s top scorer.

Falkirk and Raith Rovers have been linked with the January transfers, the suggestion of which was not welcomed by supporters and, in Raith’s case, major sponsors.

Goals, unfortunately, tend to trump morals in football and it is a club’s prerogative if they are to accept the more than understandable criticism and reactions that would come from signing Goodwillie.

Robbie deas

Robbie Deas in action for Inverness
Robbie Deas in action for Inverness

The Inverness CT center-back left Celtic in 2020 after a string of loans to go out on his own and found a home in the Highlands.

One of the two to have conceded just 15 goals this season, Deas’ performances for Billy Dodds’ side have made him a solid unit and alongside experienced Kirk Boradfoot, Deas’ game has failed. made that develop.

27 appearances in a season with Inverness leading as the title contender saw him provide an assist and collect just five yellows, proving he is a reliable performer at the top of the table.

Nathan Austin

Nathan Austin and Peter Pawlett in action
Nathan Austin and Peter Pawlett in action

That a player of Austin’s pedigree played in the Lowland League last season was nonsense.

He is also above Ligue 2 level, backed by 18 goals already this season.

Kelty is already playing for a League One team and will officially become so barring a monumental disaster.

If he maintains his current form, Austin could well top the scorers charts nationwide at the end of the season.

Joe cardle

Joe Cardle shoots in the opener during a League 2 game between Kelty Hearts and Cowdenbeath in New Central Park
Joe Cardle shoots in the opener during a League 2 game between Kelty Hearts and Cowdenbeath in New Central Park

Austin and Kallum Higginbotham tend to make the headlines of the runaway leaders, but veteran Cardle was a major influence on the runaway train that is Kelty.

The former Ross County and Dunfermline man has eight goals and six assists this season, but performances in general have shown he remains a cut above the vast majority of League One players despite the end of his career.

There aren’t many substitutes for experience, and when combined with the ability, can be an effective weapon and Cardle is one that Kelty makes excellent use of.

Zach Hemming

Zach Hemming in action for Kilmarnock
Zach Hemming in action for Kilmarnock

The Kilmarnock goalkeeper has made sure he is a popular figure among fans with his antics off the pitch.

He described Ayr as an ‘s ***** e’ on Instagram after Kilmarnock’s victory at Somerset Park and also threw toilet paper at fans at home.

But his performance between the sticks deserves its inclusion here. With Arbroath and Inverness CT, the Rugby Park club have the nastiest defense in the division and the loaned Middlesbrough keeper played a big part in the saves he made.

The title favorites have underperformed so far this season hence the manager change, but Hemming has held his end of the bargain.

Euan Murray

Euan Murray from Kilmarnock
Euan Murray from Kilmarnock

A regular goal threat from set pieces at Dunfermline last season, Muray was linked with trips to top flying clubs.

In the end, he joined Killie in the hopes of making it happen with them.

It could still happen now that Derek McInnes is in charge, but defensively he doesn’t have much to worry about with Murray ahead of Hemming providing a solid base to start.

Scott tiffoney

Partick's Scott Tiffoney is tackled by Raith's Dylan Tait
Partick’s Scott Tiffoney is tackled by Raith’s Dylan Tait

The wide man has stood out for Thistle in their winning campaign this season and five assists and four away goals this quarter is a respectable comeback.

Ian McCall’s side have been inconsistent after a strong start on their return to the Second Division, but are only out of the play-offs and six points behind leaders Arbroath.

If Tiffoney can continue to supply the ammunition, there is still every chance that the Jags will make successive promotions this season.

Christophe berra

Christophe Berra in action for Raith Rovers
Christophe Berra in action for Raith Rovers

The former Hearts skipper left Tynecastle in a sort of cloud after performance levels dropped and he found himself out of the squad, though he was expected to end his career there. where it started.

After a loan spell with Dundee last season, he returned to the Championship under the guidance of former Hearts youth coach John McGlynn and is back to doing what he does best.

An organizer at the back adds additional authority alongside skipper Kyle Benedictus.

Able to keep it simple with Raith’s ball players higher in the park doing business, there are few better defenders than the former Scotland international.