Locke looking to make a winning return with Broxburn Athletic
Appointed captain by manager Steve Pittman on this return to Albyn Park in the summer, the 30-year-old was swayed by the former U.S national team cap’s plans to take the club forward, with an East of Scotland Premier title their main target in the interim.
So far, they are on track – with an eight-point lead at the Premier Division summit – they are have already surpassed their whole points total from last season with 12 wins from 14 matches.
“I had a few different offers in the Lowland League, but I took a couple of weeks to think about it after speaking with Pitts, just to weigh up my options,” said Locke. “My main thought process behind the move was going back to Broxburn to win something, and after listening to the gaffer and stuff, he was on the same wavelength with me. It’s not a case of just turning up each week, it was to go and win the league and hopefully win a cup as well.
“I am not getting any younger, I am 30 now, and I want to try and win something. I’ve never won anything in adult football, at Bo’ness we got beaten in two finals and my first spell at Broxburn we got beat in a couple of finals. I’ve spent all these years playing football and all that time, but never won anything. That’s the motivation behind this season.
“I’ve come back with the aim of getting back to the top end of the league and maybe into the Lowland League.”
An encounter this afternoon with west giants Auchinleck Talbot in the South Region Challenge Cup represents a chance for Brox to demonstrate how far they have come this season, following a 7-0 hiding from Talbot in last season’s competition in February.
It’s the first of two big home matches for the club, with Broxburn hosting Highland League Buckie Thistle next Saturday with a place in the Scottish Cup fourth round the prize on offer and the potential of a massive draw.
“The good thing about the next few weeks is we are away from league action, so it’s a different kind of focus for the boys,” said Locke.
“Auchinleck will be interesting, they are a strong team from the west, they have been playing well the past few games after a weaker start so we maybe have them at a bad time, but we fancy our chances.
“I think some of the boys got a bit of a hiding last season, so it’s a big game to try and put that wrong, right. We want to show what we are made of this season.
“We have had a strong start but this will show us exactly where we are at facing two strong teams. These next to games will be the toughest we have had so far this season. We fancy our chances, especially at home with the football we have played.
“We have a good squad, not just a strong starting eleven, we’ve got boys who are coming off the bench and making a difference.”
Elsewhere, in Challenge Cup action, Dunbar United host Cumbernauld Colts, while Tranent are away to Lugar Boswell Thistle.