Danny Smith is hoping to create more history as Linlithgow Rose’s new manager – just four years after hanging up his boots at the club.
Rose stalwart Smith has been chosen as the man to replace Mark Bradley and, having amassed over 20 honours in his 12-year spell as a player at the club, he wants more success from the touchline.
Smith can’t wait to start work at Prestonfield, but first he wants to guide current club Camelon through to the last four of the Scottish Junior Cup, if the club allow him to take charge of their quarter-final at home to Whitletts Victoria this Saturday.
He admits it’s a wrench to leave the club which he took charge of back in 2010, but revealed the lure of Junior football’s top job was too good to turn down.
“I feel a loyalty to the guys at Camelon and I’ve got a right good bond with the players,” said Smith.
“I would like to see the week through with the players and hopefully get them through to the semi-finals of the Junior Cup. I know the players want that as well.
“We’ve been successful on the park this season because there is a togetherness about the group and, when you create something like that, it’s difficult to walk away from.
“But, the chance of managing Linlithgow Rose doesn’t come about every day. I know the players understand my situation and every one of them has given me their full backing.
“They understand it’s just something I need to do.”
Along with his assistant, Alan Moffat, Smith will be expected to push Super League rivals Bo’ness United all the way in the race for the league title as Rose look to retain their league crown.
Caretaker boss Jim Harkins led Rose to three straight league wins to put them firmly back in contention and Smith is used to the expectancy at the club as he bids to maintain that form in the long term.
He said: “If you play with a big club or you manage a big club there is always pressure. However, there is nobody that puts more pressure on themselves than I do.
“I want success and I demand success – that’s what drives me on.
“I know what comes with the club and yes, they want success. That’s what I want, otherwise I wouldn’t be going back there. I want to be the best manager at Junior football level.”
Although their former captain looks back fondly on what he has achieved at the club as a player, it is his aspiration to improve as a manager, rather than his past history with Rose, which was his reason for taking over as boss.
He said: “It was important that I knew, and the committee knew, that the decision for me going back to the club is because I want to be a successful football manager, not because I had a tremendous time there as a player.
“My history at the club will always be there, nobody will ever take that away. I want to make new history for myself and Alan Moffat.
“We want to be successful and we want to be winning the big trophies year after year and that’s what my goals are going to be. We want to keep Linlithgow Rose at the top of Junior football.”
With several Linlithgow players nearing the end of their contracts, Smith will have a decision to make on their future, but he is willing to give every one of them a clean slate.
He said: “It’s a fresh start for everybody. They will all have an opportunity to show me they want to be at the club and prove they are good enough.”
If Smith is given the green light to remain in charge for Camelon’s quarter-final, his first match as Linlithgow boss will be a visit to Tayport on April 5.