FORMER Hearts midfielder Mark Bradley is hoping he can beat off some stiff competition to land a dream start in management at Linlithgow.
Bradley has been put in temporary charge of Rose following Dave Baikie’s departure and enjoyed instant success with a 3-1 Super League win over St Andrews last Saturday.
Now he’s waiting to see if he’ll get to stake his claim for the post on a full-time basis as club officials weigh-up their options.
“We’ve had 13 applications for the job and there are a number of senior people amongst them,” said Rose chairman David Roy.
“We will start doing some interviews in the next few days but there’s no big hurry as it doesn’t look as though there are going to be many more games this month due to the weather.”
Bradley has been at Prestonfield for the past six seasons and has been in his current position before.
Following Brian Fairley’s exit in February 2009, he shared the responsibility for picking the team with Ian Gallacher and Danny Smith. On the back of the excellent job he’s doing at Camelon, Lithgae legend Smith is one of the names being mentioned as Baikie’s possible successor.
Another name in the frame is David McGlynn, who also played for Rose and has done an excellent job at Musselburgh, steering them into the Super League and also to the Junior Cup final last season.
“Danny Smith was here for 13 years, I think, and is an obvious shout from the fans as they adore him,” said Bradley.
“David McGlynn must also be in with a chance, having played here and also having done a great job at Musselburgh.
“He certainly has more experience than me but I’ve been in temporary charge before and I’m also hoping the fact I’m still at the club will help me.
“I think there would be a lot of envious people out there if I did get the job.
“I know I don’t have any other managerial experience than the ten or 11 weeks I shared the duties before Dave Baikie came in.
“But I know the players, having played alongside most of them, and the committee and fans as well.
“It’s a fantastic club and I am hoping the fact everyone who’s going to be involved in the interview process knows what type of person I am will work in my favour.
“It would be tremendous if I could start off my managerial career at a club like this.
“I honestly didn’t think I would end up playing Junior football and when I came here it was nowhere near the money I had been earning.
“But the reason I have stayed put for so long is that I love it here. It’s a brilliant club and a well-run one, too.”
Baikie led Linlithgow to the League Cup this season but that followed an early exit from the Junior Cup at the hands of local rivals Bo’ness.
He was sacked after back-to-back league defeats against Kelty and Bonnyrigg but, after the win last weekend, Lithgae are still in contention for the title.
“I actually said to the manager (Baikie) that the current squad is probably the best there’s been during my time at the club,” said Bradley.
“It’s maybe not the best starting XI but in terms of the players available it’s a very strong squad.
“We have a great mix of youth and experience and there are goal-scorers all over the place. In my opinion, I think it’s a case of us trying to get back on the front foot again in games and playing in the other team’s half.
“When I first came here, we were winning 2-0, 3-0 or even 4-0 in games and I’d like to see us getting back to dominating matches.”
Bradley suffered a nasty leg break at the start of last season but was handed a new contract by Baikie after battling back to fitness.
“I was disappointed that the manager didn’t play me more this season as I had worked so hard, training five days per week,” he said.
“I’m still not ready to retire but if I have to make that decision sometime and if I could get the job here it would definitely make it a lot easier.”
Rose are due to host Kirkcaldy YM tomorrow in the Fife & Lothians Cup (1.30pm kick-off) but that is likely to be subject to a pitch inspection.
“It was great to get a positive reaction from the players last week and the more wins I can get the more chance I have of getting the job,” said Bradley.
“We have been working hard on our finishing again this week in training because we have so much pace in the side and we need to exploit that by putting the ball in the back of the net.”
Tomorrow’s Super League fixtures include Bathgate versus Bo’ness while in the Premier Division there’s a tasty-looking clash between Newtongrange and Penicuik