Haddington Athletic boss reveals short-term goal and much more ambitious long-term aim

Premier Division survival is the main aim for Haddington Athletic this season as they compete at the top level of the East of Scotland set-up for the first time – but long term, manager Scott Bonar sees no reason why they can’t follow in the footsteps of Bonnyrigg Rose.

Bonar is building something special at Millfield Park following last season’s First Division title win, with youth key to their rise. Former Hearts youth coach Bonar is eager to give youngsters a chance; 16-year-old Robbie Peffers, for example, became the Hi-His youngest ever player on his debut in their season opener against Hill of Beath.

“As long as we don’t get relegated, that would be a positive season but I am ambitious and I am a great believer that if you are going to do something, you should try and do as best as you can, otherwise, what’s the point?,“ Bonar told the Evening News.

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“We should be trying to finish as high up as the league as we can. I want to build a club rather than a one-season wonder.

Haddington Athletic manager Scott BonarHaddington Athletic manager Scott Bonar
Haddington Athletic manager Scott Bonar

“It’s not beyond the realms of possibility for us to follow in the footsteps of Bonnyrigg, Kelty and Edinburgh City, who’s to say we can’t?”

An opening-day 1-1 draw with the Fifers was followed up by a 1-0 win against Lothian Thistle on matchday two. Tomorrow afternoon, they entertain Crossgates Primrose.

Bonar continued: “We did well against Hill of Beath, to lose a goal in the 89th minute was disheartening, it was a poor goal to concede.

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“A draw was a fair result but when you get to that stage you should been seeing the game out and at that stage, they didn’t look like scoring.

“The Lothian game we had a right young team, so we have started brilliant considering. Sometimes you just have to take the hit if you want them to develop, otherwise how are they going to learn?”

Bonar added: “It’s definitely a step up [from playing in the First Division]. Concentration levels need to be high and you can’t switch off. I said to them that they proved last season they can compete with these teams, but now they need to do it week in, week out.”