Johnny Harvey eager to get going with ambitious Tranent Juniors

Back at the Belters, Harvey welcomes pressure and club's ambition

Friday, 14th February 2020, 6:00 am
Tranent Juniors will meet Johnny Harvey's former club Penicuik Athletic in their next two games

Johnny Harvey is raring to go as manager of hometown club Tranent Juniors and says he can handle the pressure at the club because he will demand more from his players than what is expected from above.

Harvey is back on the touchline after a “long” ten months out after his exit from Berwick Rangers, a troublesome period which left many questioning his credentials in management after a successful two years in charge at Penicuik Athletic.

Calvin Shand was relieved of his duties at Foresters Park last week, which came as a surprise given they were sat third in the East of Scotland Premier Division at the time. Expectations are high at Tranent but Harvey insists the club’s ambition matches his own.

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Speaking from Costa Adeje in Tenerife, where he learned he was successful last Friday night after interviewing on Wednesday, Harvey said: “It’s been a long ten months since I was relieved of my duties at Berwick. Before that it wasn’t easy but I have done a bit of reflecting over the last ten months, I have taken in a lot of games and I have watched training sessions at other clubs. I feel as if as I am prepared and ready to go for it.

“I had a bad experience with Berwick but I need to learn from it. I had six good years before that and people always say it is easier to learn when you are going through the tough times rather than the good times.

"Over the last year and a half, I think I am now prepared to be a better manager than I have ever been. I’ve certainly got the drive to be better than I have ever been because I’ve got doubters now.

“I went to Berwick and it didn’t work out for me but there was circumstances which people aren’t fully aware of. I am now at an ambitious club that matches my own aims, it is my hometown club, it just excites me to go get going again.

“Some people would say that Calvin, on the face of it, looks as if he’s done not too bad a job. The club has ambitions to be competing a wee bit further up the table, and I think rightly so.

"You look at the work they are putting in behind the scenes and they are quite within their rights to demand that. They aren’t going to demand anymore from me and my players than I will, that’s what I expect from my teams; I am not in football to finish fifth, sixth or seventh, I want to be at the top end of the league and competing right to the very end of the season.”

Tranent are due to face a double header with Harvey’s old club Penicuik in the next few days, although tomorrow’s league clash is unlikely to beat the weather, with their scheduled Football Nation Qualifying Cup tie on Tuesday in with a better chance.

Harvey, who is yet to meet his players after returning from Tenerife today, added: “Penicuik is a terrific club, and I have never hid away from the fact that it is the club where I had my most enjoyable time in football, especially as a player, and probably my most successful time as a manager. I have a lot of friends there and it’s not a club I think anything bad of.

“I think it would be ideal for me to meet the players and put my ideas across in a training session tomorrow, but it is what it is, if there is a game we will be ready to go.”