Musselburgh reaping rewards of youth investment

David McGlynn at Olive Bank

David McGlynn at Olive Bank

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DAVY McGLYNN reckons Musselburgh are now reaping the rewards after a year of transition last term.

The Olive Bank side endured a difficult campaign last time round as the squad that reached the Junior Cup final the previous season was ripped apart.

Manager McGlynn had to undertake a significant overhaul of the squad and made the decision to place his faith in young talent. In the end, they had to settle for a seventh-place finish in a league which had no relegation last season.

McGlynn, however, is confident things will be better this term. Having added the experience of Paul Harvey over the summer, Musselburgh are already sitting pretty in the Super League having won two of their three games ahead of today’s showdown at home to Broxburn.

“It was hard after losing the Scottish Cup final against Auchinleck and we had some problems in close season,” recalls McGlynn. “We lost a lot of good players and the squad was almost wiped out. It was a tough time but something had to be done. I thought the best way forward was to get some youngsters and get them playing good football without any pressure.

“They did that and since we added a player like Paul Harvey this season, the squad has a good balance to it. We’ve had a good start to the season and the youngsters have seen what can be achieved. Paul has shown them what experience is and they are responding. The boys have learned their lessons and kicked on from last year. We’re confident we can do well this season.”

McGlynn expects a tough test against a Broxburn side who have taken four points from their last two games after losing narrowly to champions Linlithgow on the opening day.

“Steve Pittman has a good pool of players, players like his own son Scott, who is attracting senior clubs,” continued McGlynn. “We have players carrying knocks but it looks like everyone is fit for what should be a really good game.”

Broxburn manager Pittman has been encouraged by his side’s start to the campaign, but knows they will have to be at their best to get a result at Olive Bank. “It’ll be tough against Musselburgh,” he said. “Davy McGlynn always sets his sides up to play football and they have the players who can hurt you. Last season they came to Broxburn and scored three goals in 20 minutes so we know what they’re capable off.

“We’ve played well since the start of the season and I thought we should have taken something at Linlithgow on the opening day. We bounced back though and I think we’ve settled well in the Super League.”

Elsewhere, the derby between Bonnyrigg and Newtongrange holds plenty intrigue. Newtongrange have had a terrific start on their return to the Super League and sit proudly at the top of the table having scored an average of four goals per game.

Bonnyrigg, with their new signings on board, looked like a side which would be battling for the titles come May next year. However, they have stumbled in their last couple of games. Manager Max Christie has also had to contend with having two players sent off in the last two games.

Joint leaders Linlithgow are at home to newly-promoted Ballingry. Rose manager Mark Bradley has signed a full-back but is still on the lookout for another new face. Bo’ness are another side with full points from their three games so far and they will be confident of maintaining their perfect start when they travel to Sauchie.

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