Bonnyrigg Rose chief Charlie Kirkwood 'pinching himself' over televised Scottish Cup tie
Bonnyrigg Rose chairman Charlie Kirkwood has revealed he has been pinching himself in the run up to Friday night's William Hill Scottish Cup second-round visit of Buckie Thistle.
The Lowland League leaders welcome the Highland League table-toppers to New Dundas Park, a match that will be broadcast live on the BBC Scotland channel (kick-off 7.05pm).
And Kirkwood, who has been at the helm for more than ten years, says the club has come on leaps and bounds since first walking through the doors at the Midlothian-based outfit.
“It’s been just over ten years since we came in and the difference in the place is like night and day,” Kirkwood explained. “We never thought we’d be just hours away from hosting a Scottish Cup tie, under the lights and live on television – you have to pinch yourself.
“It’s great for the club and for the profile of the town. The kids at the schools have been talking all about it this week so there’s a real excitement. We opened up the ground on Wednesday night before 6pm and there were already people queuing to buy tickets.
“If we can get 1,500 we’ll be delighted. We could go to 2,600 but we want supporters to be comfortable. Ticket sales have been going really well.
“It’s going to be a very hard game with them being top of the Highland League and over the years they’ve done well in the competition. But we’re playing well and we’ve got a really good bunch of boys here who play for each other and the jersey.”
Rose, however, are no stranger to the competition either having been handed a bumper tie against then holders Hibs at Tynecastle in January 2017, losing the match 8-1 in front of a crowd just short of 12,500.
“Being drawn against Hibs was like winning the lottery,” Kirkwood said. “We’ve done so many things to improve the ground that we wouldn’t have been able to do had it not been for the Hibs game.
“Everyone on the board and the committee work their socks off because we all share that love for the club.
“There’s probably an extra 100 coming through the gate now too. We’re averaging about 500 for every home game. The club is in a really good place at the moment, there’s no doubt about that.”
Asked if there could be a repeat of tonight’s tie come the business end of the season in the Pyramid play-offs, Kirkwood added: “I don’t see why not. We’re still hoping to bring in maybe another one or two and we’ve also got our under-20s which will help us if we pick up a couple of injuries. There are of course a lot of hard games still to come but I’m confident we can stay where we are.”