Applicants already in line for Linlithgow hot seat

The stakes are high at Linlithgow

The stakes are high at Linlithgow

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Linlithgow Rose will not head-hunt a new manager after club secretary Jim Harkins today revealed that the Prestonfield outfit has been inundated with applications for the most prized job in east junior football.

Mark Bradley sensationally quit after Saturday’s 6-0 loss away to Super League strugglers St Andrews after a two-and-a-half-year tenure which saw the 37-year-old lead Rose to a treble last season in a record 50-game unbeaten run.

Linlithgow face Musselburgh Athletic on Saturday, but will not make an appointment ahead of the match, with temporary boss Harkins saying that a new manager could be in place for the following weekend. The Evening News can reveal that one of the applicants is former Berwick Rangers boss Ian Little.

Harkins said: “We will not have a manager in place for Saturday’s match. I along with a community goalkeeping coach will be responsible for preparing the team for Saturday’s game and hopefully it will be a one-off for me. Maybe by the following Saturday we will have someone in place. There is no certainty, but I’m hoping that will be the case.

“We have had a decent quality of applicant. We got another applicant late last night by email and we hope to start going through the list after Saturday’s game.

“I think when you are a junior team, you need a manager with experience of the juniors. I would say that we will have to have a serious look at the applicants and make our own mind up whether it’s going to be someone with junior experience or somebody well qualified in senior football that has never been in juniors before. By the end of the week we will sit down and have further discussion on it.”

Harkins himself was surprised at Bradley’s resignation, explaining that his sudden departure has left the club in a state of shock. He said: “When Mark was here, there was never any time where we felt there was a need to discuss any replacement for him. There was never any talk of replacing him and we didn’t think it would happen as quick as this. It’s happened, so we’ve got to deal with it and we are disappointed that it didn’t work out for Mark.

“It was a surprise to me. He just walked over the park and shouted me over. He said ‘Jim, that’s me I’m finished. I can’t carry on with this’. I said to him ‘You’re probably making the right decision. If you are not happy then you are best just leaving it and getting a break’.”

With Rose just 13 points behind leaders Newtongrange Star and with three games in hand, Harkins believes they are still in with a chance of regaining the title.

He said: “If we get our act together, we aren’t out of the title race yet. We will give it as good a try as we can to salvage something out of this season.”