BROXBURN ATHLETIC kick off their first-ever Super League campaign against Bo’ness tomorrow and, for manager Steve Pittman, it has been three long years in the making.
Pittman’s men face United at Albyn Park as the club make their long-awaited return to junior football’s top flight. And the boss admits everyone at the West Lothian club is ready to drink in the occasion.
“The club, and everyone attached to the club, are really looking forward to the game,” said Pittman.
“It has been a while coming, and there have been a lot of ups and downs, but it’s worth it. The committee here have done a tremendous job in these years and it is time for them to get the plaudits.
“The players get the attention during the season, but without the backing of the committee then they wouldn’t be there tomorrow.
“The committee will have a huge smile on their faces to welcome Bo’ness and hopefully we can make sure they have those smiles after the game as well.
“We have a great set up at the club, the facilities are superb and the club have a professional attitude to all we’re doing.
“I believe we’ll add to the Super League and can’t wait till tomorrow’s game.”
Pittman is hopeful of having a full squad to choose from, claiming that a busy early-season schedule has hampered his attempts to nurse players through injuries.
“I’m hoping to have a full squad for the first time this season,” he said. “The League Cup games are a real pain – playing Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday doesn’t give anyone injured a chance to recover.
“At least when you have a full week to work on players they have a chance to rest properly.
“I don’t want to make any excuses, but in some of the cup games we’ve only had 11 fit players.
“The players themselves are up for the season ahead. They know what they have to deliver. They know if they don’t this season then they’ll be shipped out and new faces will come in, but I’m confident the players here will do a great job for the club and themselves.
“We’re running with a small squad this year because I don’t like to leave players not stripped at the side of the pitch. As I said at the start, it has been a long three years, but I would go through it all over again.”
Bo’ness boss Paul Ronald has a big job on his hands after his men failed to beat Sauchie on Wednesday night for a place in the League Cup semi-finals against Newtongrange.
It wasn’t the defeat, though, that hurt Ronald, it was the manner of the defeat as he witnessed a lack of fighting spirit among the players. Ronald will be desperate for his team to bounce back quickly.
Elsewhere in the Super League, Bonnyrigg play host to St Andrews where the league flag will be being unfurled before the game by Bill Durie in recognition of his long association with the club.
Durie has been coach, manager, physio and general committee man for over the past 50 years.
Bonnyrigg manager Max Christie, meanwhile, saw signs of a return to form as his side beat Girvan last week to progress to the second round of the William Hill Scottish Cup. “Last week against Girvan, we showed the form, in spells, we’re capable of. Now we need to make it last for 90 minutes every week,” he said.
Linlithgow kick off their league campaign with a home game against Carnoustie. This is the first time Linlithgow will have faced a Super League side this season and will give boss Mark Bradley a guide to his side’s form.
Musselburgh are on their travels as David McGlynn takes his young side to Dundee for a game against Lochee United.
He is looking forward to the season ahead, saying: “There’s no relegation this season, so that gives me a chance to start from fresh with a group of good youngsters and build a squad capable of staying there.”