JANUARY may be a time for fresh starts and New Year’s resolutions for some, but for those of a football persuasion, it’s a pivotal time in the season.

Midway through a league campaign, January can offer clubs playing well the chance to bring in a player or two to help strengthen the team and push the collective forward.

For those toiling, like Alloa Athletic, it can be an opportunity to bring in fresh faces who may ultimately decide whether this season is a failure or not.

At the time Advertiser Sport went to print, manager Barry Ferguson has overseen the signing of 14 players – 15 if you include the emergency loan signing of goalkeeper Kieran Wright, who was only brought in to cover the suspended David Hutton after the departures of both Neil Parry and Craig McDowall.

Of those 14 players, it would be fair to say that seven of those signings have been a success, in some way or another.

A 50 per cent success rate is not great, but it’s not terrible either. However, that number – seven – comes with a caveat. Of those seven players deemed a success, three are loan signings: Mouhamed Niang, Euan Henderson and Charlie Gilmour.

Niang’s on loan until the end of the season, however his parent club – Partick Thistle – do have the option of a January recall.

Henderson is scheduled to return to Hearts on January 16 unless an extension is made, while Gilmour is also due to return to St Johnstone at some point this month unless the clubs reach an agreement.

Let’s have a look back at the players who have arrived at the Indodrill Stadium so far this year and whether their time has been productive or not.

Conor Sammon

The veteran striker was announced alongside five other players as Ferguson took the first step in his squad overhaul.

Sammon has scored a handful of goals – including one against his old club Falkirk in one of Alloa’s best performances this season – but has largely been used off the bench when the club are either chasing an equaliser or protecting a lead.

Daniel Church

Another early signing, Church looked like he would slot right into the Alloa team in the hole filled by Liam Dick’s departure.

The former Celtic kid, however, has had a torrid time so far at Alloa.

Dropped by the manager, he has spent the past few months on the bench as Jon Robertson – regularly used at right back or in central midfield in his Alloa career – has filled in at left back.

He did start in the defeat to Airdrie on Boxing Day.

Mark Durnan

Durnan made the move from full time football with Falkirk to playing part time with Alloa and he’s settled in comfortably at the heart of the defence.

He built up something of a partnership with Mendy but in recent weeks has been alongside Andy Graham.

Has popped up with a few goals too, but the sheer number of appearances he’s made make him an undoubted success.

Ben Armour

The former Peterhead player has hardly featured for the club this season as injuries take their toll.

Given the number nine shirt, Armour was clearly intended to lead the line for the club but has seen the entire first half of the season plagued by injuries.

Steven Boyd

A really exciting player at times, Boyd has been a star of Alloa’s season so far.

Scoring some great goals and adding in a tremendous work rate, Boyd has been brilliant on the left wing.

Pacey with an eye for goal and a trick or two up his sleeve, Boyd is without question one of Ferguson’s successful signings.

Mark Lamont

Announced in the middle of June, Lamont departed the Wee County at the end of October.

The midfielder joined Broomhill on a loan which is due to expire this month; however, if his Alloa career so far is anything to go by, it’s unlikely he’ll make an impact on the team if he does return.

Adam King

King’s season so far has been a mixed bag.

The midfielder has featured a lot for the club and scored a terrific goal against Montrose but he has so far struggled to nail down a consistent starting berth in the squad.

Jordan Armstrong

Described on the club’s website as “equally adept at left or centre back” – Armstrong has hardly featured for the club, spending most matchdays on the bench.

Even when the manager hasn’t used Church at left back, Robertson’s got the shout before him.

Fernandy Mendy

At times, Mendy looks like a complete defender.

He is strong, powerful and athletic. He can be composed on the ball and has a wide range of passing with both feet.

When he plays well, he plays really well.

However, there are also times when he can appear to lack concentration or make unforced errors.

He displaced captain Andy Graham in the team until recently and is now off to represent his country in the African Cup of Nations. A decent signing.

David Hutton

Would be unfair to call Hutton anything other than a success as he has started almost every match since he joined the club.

However, some reckless decision making has at times been baffling and his disciplinary record has been worrying at times.

In truth, he is a good goalkeeper and a reliable performer for the club.

Mouhamed Niang

Despite performance levels dropping in recent weeks, Niang has been impressive for Alloa so far.

The loanee has a terrific workrate and was praised by Ferguson for his versatility in playing in different positions – even at left back.

Euan Henderson

Two late goals against Queen’s Park. A double against Airdrie. An equaliser against Falkirk. The only goal in a draw against East Fife.

Some of Henderson’s goals have directly won Alloa eight points.

Without those points the club would be bottom of the table. No more needs to be said.

Charlie Gilmour

A standout performer in Alloa’s midfield.

Has brought a real quality to the team alongside a solid work ethic and determination.

Strong and athletic with the footballing quality to match, he’s been a real asset to Alloa’s team this season.

Tom Leighton

Hasn’t started a match since featuring against Rangers in the cup back at the end of October.

Has made the bench in recent weeks but a lack of game time makes it hard to gauge his impact.