BROXBURN, now in their first season in the Super League, face the champions of last season, Bonnyrigg Rose, in the Dechmont League Cup.
For Broxburn manager Steve Pittman it is an opportunity for him to see how his players will react against tougher opponents, with the bonus that there are no points at stake.
It’s an encounter he is looking forward to, claiming: “This game will let us get up to speed for the challenges ahead.
“We’ve had a tough time in the injury department with players like Brian Fairbairn, Mark Cowan, Paul Miller and Craig Young, who is suspended, all out for this game.
“Hopefully, though, we’ll have everybody back for league business. This, however, gives the other players in the squad a chance to impress. We’ve had a mixed start to the season with the injuries we’ve had, but against Penicuik I saw signs that we were turning the corner.
“I know Max (Chrsitie, Bonnyrig boss) well and his teams always like to pass the ball about. He’ll probably rest some players because they have a massive game in the William Hill Scottish Cup next week, so it might be a different line-up from normal. If they do, things should even themselves out with me having players missing through injury and he resting his.
“Obviously the league is our priority, but this is the first silverware of the season and it would give us lots of confidence for what’s to come if we could have a good run.”
Challenges are what Broxburn are facing, but they have strengthened the squad and on the artificial turf feel they can more than hold their own.
They face a Bonnyrigg side scoring goals freely, but they know what’s coming up next week, and, as Pittman, says: “Their thoughts may be elsewhere.”
Christie knows just how hard it will be to get a result at Broxburn even without next week’s game in mind. In the only two games they have played already there is an argument to be made that this is a better line-up than last year.
They scored a barrowload of goals in these games and that was without any pre-season friendlies. He saw his team lose last season 4-0 against Broxburn, so he is expecting a tough one.
He said: “Unless we turn up with 100 per cent attitude we’ll get nothing from this game. They like to play good attacking football, so we’ll have to be ready from the kick off.
“Obviously we have a huge game for the club next week both football-wise but also financially. A good run in the Scottish Cup can set the club on good financial footing for seasons to come, apart from the supporters being pleased with a good run. It’s our first game of the season against a Super League side and they will be up for this one.
“We’ve a mixed squad for the game with Ryan McCallum getting back to fitness slowly and Sean Grady still carrying a knock from the last game of last season.
“Stevie has a lot of good players I watched a lot last year; none more so than his son Scott who is one of the players we wanted to sign pre-season, but he wanted to stay with his dad and the club.
“It’ll be a tough game played on the Astroturf, a surface we’re not used to.”
Bonnyrigg are starting this season as everyone’s favourite for the clean sweep of the league, the Scottish Cup, the Senior Scottish Cup and every piece of silverware on offer.
In Paul Shields and Kris Renton they have strikers to open any defence, plus the pace and guile of Sean Grady to create the chances.
They haven’t conceded a goal this season albeit they have only played a couple of games, but new signing from Bathgate, goalkeeper Andy Carlin, may be a busy man between the sticks on Saturday afternoon as Broxburn threaten to burst the Rose’s bubble.