Bonnyrigg Rose boss Robbie Horn reveals realities of part-time football and ponders 'more professional' future
Bonnyrigg Rose boss Robbie Horn admits his club may have to become “more professional” to compete in the SPFL in the years ahead.
Speaking ahead of the Lowland League champions’ first competitive fixture as an SPFL club, away to Clyde at New Douglas Park on Wednesday in Premier Sports Cup Group D, Horn confessed that pre-season has not been easy.
It was a short break after such a long and draining 2021/22 campaign, both physically and emotionally. That meant there was little time for fitness levels among his squad to drop. But it also left little time for his players to enjoy a break and recharge the batteries after their incredible exploits.
With some on holiday and others at weddings and stags, Horn had to fill his bench with players from Rose’s under-20s for Saturday’s 5-0 defeat by Hearts at Tynecastle and admitted that in the longer term that may need to change.
“As a part time club it’s difficult for us at this time of season,” he told the Edinburgh Evening News. “We had boys away at weddings and stag dos. We were a bit short [at Tynecastle] and had some young boys on the bench as well.
“That’s the level we’re at. Boys are not getting paid a lot of money. You can’t dictate to them when they’re going to be taking holidays. They’ve got things on. That’s just the level of football we’re at, part time.
“I think, going forward, we probably need to be a bit more professional as a football club and the players maybe will have to take a bit more responsibility and not do things like that, but at this moment in time we’ve just been promoted. Given the success we’ve had and what the players achieved last year, you can’t be too critical about these kind of things.”
Horn’s players have a testing start to the campaign with four matches in 11 days against higher division opposition. After tonight’s trip to Clyde, they host Hibs and then Falkirk at New Dundas Park on Sunday and next Wednesday before travelling to Morton.
The manager’s priority is to make sure his team are ready for the start of the League 2 campaign, which kicks off at home to Forfar Athletic at the end of the month.