DEFENDER Jamie McKenzie hopes to see the Linlithgow Rose Social Club ‘bouncing’ again tomorrow night as the Prestonfield side look to clinch the Super League title.
Rose need a home victory over Lochee United tomorrow to secure the crown and complete a memorable seven days for the club following last weekend’s Emirates Scottish Junior Cup semi-final success over Shotts Bon Accord.
McKenzie admits Linlithgow’s fans were in high spirits after seeing their team set up a final date with Auchinleck Talbot – now he aims to give them double cause for celebration by becoming league champions tomorrow.
He said: “We’ll try to treat tomorrow like just another game, but we know it’s not. We’ll approach it the same way but the atmosphere with our own supporters will make it something special.
“We’re on a great run but I admit we’ve rode our luck a lot of times. A lot of games we’ve not been at our best and had to grind out a result. I suppose that’s the sign of a good side, though.
“To win in front of our own supporters, who have been brilliant all season, would be terrific. The Social Club was bouncing last weekend past and hopefully it’ll be the same this week.”
Linlithgow have been setting the pace all season in the race for the Super League flag. Amazingly, only one side have taken league points from them so far, and that came in a draw against Kelty Hearts at Prestonfield.
Manager Mark Bradley only added only three players to his squad at the start of the season but it was clearly a case of quality over quantity. Billy Gibson, John Ovenstone and David Dunn were persuaded to leave the East Seniors scene. Goalkeeper David Scott was recruited in January and he too has shown his quality when called upon.
The big prize for taking the title is, of course, entry into the William Hill Scottish Cup and a chance to meet the big boys.
In season 2007-08, Linlithgow were one of the first junior sides entered into the Scottish Cup since the competition was opened up and went on a fantastic run, only losing out in the fourth round to beaten finalists Queen of the South.
The Linlithgow support in that run were a shining example of what junior football has to offer with the club making a healthy profit at the same time. That was the carrot Bradley offered his players at the start of the season and now comes a chance for them to grab it with both hands.
Bradley, whose team remain unbeaten this season, is keen to secure his team’s first silverware of the season tomorrow,
“We’ll approach this game the same as we have done all season,” said Bradley.
“Everybody is pulling together and keeping things under control.
“We beat Lochee at the start of the season and we know it’ll be a hard game. They won’t want a party in their time. They will be up for this game the same.
“We could have won the title on Wednesday night had Camelon lost at Musselburgh but, on the upside, we’re at home tomorrow and the win is in our own hands in front of our own supporters.
“They have been fantastic for us all season so if we could win it for them it would be great.”