Bonnyrigg Rose defender Dean Hoskins has identified the team spirit amongst the New Dundas Park dressing room as the reason they are on the verge of Super League glory.
Rose can all but secure the title and a place in next season’s William Hill Scottish Cup with three points at Carnoustie Panmure tomorrow, knowing the only way sole challengers Kelty Hearts could deny them the championship would be on goal difference if they defeat Camelon. If the Fife club fail to win and Rose take three points then the title is there.
Former Berwick Rangers player Hoskins is taking nothing for granted, however. Given Carnoustie are desperate for the points themselves as they are fighting for their lives at the other end of the table, he knows they’ll have to be at their best
He said: “It’s not the easiest place to travel to and they are fighting to stay up in this league so it’s obviously going to be a tough game. I’m sure we’ll be well up for it and knowing that if we win the only way we can lost the league is on goal difference. We’re on fire just now as well.
Rose have displayed immense resilience throughout this campaign under the stewardship of manager Robbie Horn. They’ve tasted defeat just three times in the league. They’ve found themselves behind in many matches, only to show the upmost of resolve to emerge with the three points on most occasions.
Last week they twice found themselves behind at home to Hill of Beath but still secured all three points in a 3-2 victory to edge them towards their ultimate goal.
“In ten-to-15 games this season we’ve been behind in the game, either at half-time or with 30 or 20 minutes to go and the boys have just been brilliant to pull through it,” said Hoskings. “We’ve ended up getting so many points from losing positions, it’s just been unbelievable. I think that’s through our team spirit and the bond we’ve all got.
“I don’t think the manager thought we’d play as well as we have done this season. He’s done a great job and all the boys enjoy playing for him as well. I don’t know how he’s done it but the team spirit amongst the boys is just fantastic.”
This season has been a whirlwind of change for Hoskins compared to last season in a Rose shirt. The 30-year-old joined Rose last January after leaving Berwick having featured sparingly in his third season at Shielfield Park, but he became part of a squad where they had little to play for as they sat in mid-table and safe from relegation.
“The back of end last season we didn’t have a big squad, we only had 12 or 13 players. The season just petered out after we got knocked out the Junior Cup by Auchinleck – we couldn’t win the league and we couldn’t get relegated, we were sort of just mid-table and waiting on the season ending.
“I maybe regretted joining a wee bit at the back end of last season, but Davy McGlynn who was in charge then said he had these players coming in for next season and I knew a lot of boys that were coming in, so I thought we might have a good side – which has obviously been the case.
“I thought we would’ve been there or thereabouts this season. If we win all our games we are definitely going to finish at least six points ahead, but It’s never over until it’s actually done. If we win on Saturday the only way they [Kelty] can win it is on goal difference.”
Former Berwick assistant Horn won’t be short of suitors bidding to take him back to the senior game given how well he’s managed Rose this season. He was approached for the Berwick job after Colin Cameron’s departure in October, but turned it down to stay put with Rose.
Horn says the incentive of Scottish Cup action is massive for his players and luring potential signings to the club for next season.
He said “It’s something that has been mentioned to the players but we’ve not talked about it that much. That’s got to be part of our team talk and also going forward and trying to bring players to the club – the big Scottish Cup is a big pull.”