Linlithgow Rose: How Gordon Herd kept Willis Hare by turning winger into a centre-back

Willis Hare says the Linlithgow Rose dressing-room is the best he’s ever been a part of in terms of both quality and team spirit.

The Prestonfield men continued their incredible winning run, racking up their 17th victory in succession with a late winner away to Tynecastle last weekend.

Hare was on the verge of quitting the club before Gordon Herd took over, and the former Lothian Thistle man is flourishing in a new centre-back role after playing the majority of his career as a winger.

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“Just before the new management team came in, I was at a stage where I was ready to go – I wasn’t enjoying it and I wasn’t playing,” said the 30-year-old.

Willis Hare has been enjoying his new position at centre-back for Linlithgow Rose this season

“Gordon and co gave me an opportunity when we were short of bodies, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing in defence. I’ve played probably half my games this season at centre half, and I’d never played centre half in my career before.

“I’ve got a really good partnership with both Gary Thom and Dan Baur, so regardless of the partnership at the back, we work well.”

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Rose take a break from league action tomorrow when they host East of Scotland Premier leaders Penicuik Athletic in the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup with a quarter-final place at stake. The Cuikie were 3-1 winners at Prestonfield in August.

Hare is desperate to make progress in the cup. He continued: “As well as winning the league we are looking to get our hands on cups as well. The squad that we have got, is hands down the strongest I have ever been in. If you find yourself out the squad it is unbelievably hard to get back in there.

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“The team morale is absolutely incredible. The tempo at training is outrageously high. The defensive record along with goals scored is credit to the changes the management have made. I would say it’s the best dressing room I’ve been involved in, the team spirit in the group is the best I’ve been involved in.

“Penicuik won’t want to go two games defeated by their main rivals in the league.

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“We know how good Penicuik are, they displayed that earlier on this season, they have players that can hurt any side.”

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