Bo’ness boss McGonigal buoyed by headline-grabbing exploits of old charge Lister

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BO’NESS boss Alan McGonigal
has revealed how a knock at his door from a surprise 
visitor was as enjoyable as 
winning trophies.

Paying that visit was Jim Lister, whom McGonigal had at both Berwick and is now banging in goals for Ian Murray’s Dumbarton in the First Division. “There’s no better feeling than to pick up the papers on a Sunday and see players you’ve worked with making headlines,” said McGonigal.

“Jim is one of them – it’s great to see him scoring goals and having a fantastic season. He came to my house not that long ago and gave me a match ball he’d won, saying it was to thank me for everything I’d done for him. That was nice and, for me, it felt as good as winning titles or anything else in the game.”

Young striker Ali Crawford is now a first-team regular for Hamilton after a loan spell at Bo’ness, where Scott Christie’s form between the posts also earned him a move to the First Division outfit. “That’s what it is all about, trying to give players opportunities to better themselves,” added McGonigal. “I’d imagine Scott will probably go full-time in the summer so that’s going to be a great opportunity for him.”

His comments stemmed from the Bo’ness manager revealing he’s hoping to lure a couple of players on loan from senior clubs to bolster a squad “down to its bare bones”.

“Sometimes when players are at senior clubs they lose their way a bit and need a kick up the backside to keep them back on track,” he said. “By coming to a junior club they get the chance to play regularly and, at the same time, it shows them the privileged life they have as 
full-time players.”

Bo’ness are due to visit Dundee Violet in the Scottish Cup tomorrow, but it has little chance of going ahead. “It’s very doubtful,” said McGonigal. “I’ve been talking to Alan Miller about the possibility of fixing up a bounce game with Newtongrange if it’s off.”