Linlithgow Rose midfielder Ruari MacLennan is determined to keep his younger brother Roddy quiet by securing a Scottish Junior Cup winners medal this season.
The trophy is one of the few to have escaped the grasp of 27-year-old MacLennan who is now in his fifth season at the Prestonfield club. The two brothers left Clyde in their early 20s following the club’s financial troubles, with Roddy immediately joining hometown club Rose where he won the holy grail of Junior football in his first season.
Ruari was sidelined for two years with a hip problem so missed out on that success. Having been a losing finalist in 2013 to Auchinleck Talbot and going out at the semi-final stage to Musselburgh Athletic last season, it is one accolade that has so far eluded him.
“At the Rose you want to do well in the Scottish every year,” said MacLennan ahead of tomorrow’s third-round tie at home to Cumbernauld United. “I’ve got a runners-up medal and we got beat in the semis last season but it must be the only trophy I’ve not won here. It’s something Roddy keeps reminding me of as he’s got a winners medal. He’s definitely got the bragging rights.
“It’s something he’ll probably always have over me. I’ll just need to try and sort it this year or in the coming years.”
If Rose were to go all the way this season, brother Roddy would face a race against time to get back to full fitness. The attacking midfielder ruptured his Achillies’ tendon on the opening day of the season and isn’t expected to be able to start running until at least March or April.
Ruari, who feels Rose have had an up-and-down start to the campaign under new manager David McGlynn, believes they have missed the creative influence of Roddy in their midfield, with the skilful player having the ability to win matches on his own.
He said: “It’s been hit and miss for us so far, we’ve not been doing that great to be honest. It’s one of those ones where we’ve been playing well and playing nice football but we’re just not finishing games off.
“We’ve conceded a few late goals – I don’t know what it’s through, but it’s just something we have to get out of our game. I’m sure we will and I’m sure it’ll get to that stage where we are seeing teams off. We are due somebody a doing to be honest.
“Roddy is our best player and we’ve lost him. He’s our most effective game changer and he wins you matches on his own, he doesn’t depend on other boys to help him. It’s the kind of player we’ve been missing this season.”
It’s a big couple of weeks for Rose with tomorrow’s match followed up by the small matter of a more than 500-mile round trip to take on Wick Academy in the William Hill Scottish Cup third round. The Prestonfield side will travel up on the Friday, staying over in Brora before completing the remainder of their journey on the Saturday morning.
First of all though, Ruari is expecting a tough encounter against their West Super League First Division opponents, he added: “All Glasgow teams have got a physical side so we’ll have to be up for that. We got beat 5-1 in pre-season by Kilsyth Rangers and they [Cumbernauld] went to Kilsyth and beat them 4-1 recently.”
Former Jambo Graham Weir is suspended for Rose, while several players are still missing with long-term injuries, although defender Graeme McGregor is added to the squad having joined from East Fife on a short loan deal.
Elsewhere in tomorrow’s ETHX Energy Junior Cup third round, Bonnyrigg Rose travel to Perth to take on high-flying Premier League side Jeanfield Swifts; Craig Meikle takes his Penicuik side to Premier League Lochee United, while Musselburgh go in search of their ninth straight victory with a trip west against Petershill. Dalkeith Thistle and Arniston Rangers are also on the road at Whitletts Victoria and Neilston. All matches kick-off at 1.45pm.