Dean Brett hopes to repay the faith Bonnyrigg Rose showed in signing him by helping the club to retain their Super League title and lifting the East of Scotland Cup.
Brett was handed a lifeline by Rose in his attempts to get his career back on track after being sacked by Cowdenbeath in February followed revelations that he breached SFA rules on gambling.
The 24-year-old jumped at the chance to join Bonnyrigg on a short-term deal in March before he was subsequently banned for four games for betting offences after a hearing at Hampden. The defender was already in the process of serving a four-game ban for offensive comments he had posted on Twitter.
Now he is back on his feet and playing the game he loves, Brett is attracting interest from League 1 and 2 clubs ahead of next season with his Rose deal set to expire next month. He now faces a tough decision to determine his future, with an offer also on the table from the New Dundas Park men.
“I’m really thankful to Robbie [Horn, Bonnyrigg manager] and the club for giving me the chance to sign,” said Brett.
“It’s a great club – the set-up is brilliant, it’s just like a big family and everyone has been brilliant. When I signed they were in four competitions and after all that effort you don’t want to lose all of them, you want to win one at least and we’ve got the chance to win two now. Hopefully I can help them win both and that will pay them back for taking a risk with me.
“I’ve had a few teams on the phone and I’ve obviously had Bonnyrigg offering me an extension, but I’m still deciding just now. It’s a tough choice because of what Bonnyrigg have done for me. I’ll probably decide within the next week or so. The chairman [Charlie Kirkwood] has been brilliant, he’s been texting me asking if there’s anything else the club can do and I feel I don’t deserve all that, it’s too kind. It will be hard whatever I decide to do.”
Rose can set up a final-day Super League title decider away to Kelty Hearts on Saturday should they beat Linlithgow Rose at home tonight (kick-off 7.15pm). With six points separating Bonnyrigg from Kelty on top spot, nothing less than three points tonight would keep Rose in the hunt. That will be far from straightforward, however, despite Bonnyrigg hitting the back of the net 16 times in their past three games, as Linlithgow arrive intent on laying a marker down for next season under new manager Mark Bradley.
Brett continued: “If we were to get the win tonight, Saturday would be brilliant; you couldn’t write it. I think Kelty were over confident and quite rightly so. What we’ve achieved is second to none and for all that we’ve achieved – scoring 16 goals in three games – you definitely don’t want to ruin it tonight, you want to take it to the last game after all this effort.
“Whatever we’ve done the last couple of weeks would be irrelevant if we don’t win the game. None of that matters now, we are down to just beating Linlithgow. I know a few of their players and they are a good team. We’ll need to be at our best and we can’t be slack or we’ll get punished.
“It’s not easy playing games when you know you need to get goals. It was 1-0 at half-time on Saturday and we’re thinking, ‘Linlithgow is a hard game, we’re not going to get many goals and we’re not going to score lots at Kelty’. Turning out and scoring four goals in the second half shows we can handle the pressure and any challenge ahead of us we’ll take it on.”