Change of boss ‘won’t damage Bonnyrigg’s title ambitions’

Bonnyrigg defender Jonathan Brown
Bonnyrigg defender Jonathan Brown
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Having been on the books at Hearts during the Vladimir Romanov era, experiencing a managerial change is nothing new to Bonnyrigg Rose defender Jonathan Brown.

The departure of Robbie Horn last week was a little bit harder to deal with for Brown and his team-mates, however, given the bond his former boss had helped to build over a prosperous two years at the New Dundas Park helm.

New Bonnyrigg manager David White. Pic: Bonnyrigg Rose FC

New Bonnyrigg manager David White. Pic: Bonnyrigg Rose FC

“I’ve been through it a lot having previously been at certain clubs where managers come and go, but this one was a bit more difficult having done so well with him and being such a tight-knit group of boys and management team,” said Brown. “At the end of the day it is part of football and we always knew Robbie was going to get a move given how well he had done with us.

“When we heard the Berwick job was coming up, after everything he had done, he had nothing else really to prove in the Juniors, so you kind of thought he would’ve got it.”

The Rose hierarchy opted for a familiar face in former defender David White to lead the club forward earlier this week. White played for the club for a year and a half before departing for Penicuik Athletic to combine playing with coaching, only to return last season when he joined Horn’s backroom staff.

The transition has therefore been fairly seamless according to Brown, with White having already worked with most of the squad, barring their summer arrivals.

“I played with Whitey, or gaffer now, whatever you want to call him, when I first came to Bonnyrigg so I’ve known him for years,” said Brown, who this week earned a call-up to the Scotland Juniors side along with three of his Rose team-mates for next month’s Umbro Quadrangular Tournament being hosted in Glasgow.

“All the boys were happy for him to come in having known him last year. He was always a good kind of coach when he was playing, talking you through the game. I know he’ll do very well and I know 
all the boys are happy he’s in charge.

“We’ve all played at decent level and done well in the Juniors so I think Whitey is very much aware that he just needs to add his touch to it and keep us going.

“I don’t think too much needs changed, we just need to do our best and hopefully try and win the league this year.”

The Super League favourites visit the league leaders tomorrow when they take on Penicuik, who have won five of their opening six matches and sit two points clear at the top of the table. Manager Johnny Harvey admits tomorrow’s match will be their biggest test so far, but believes they are under no pressure whatsoever to get a result as he looks forward to locking horns with White.

Harvey, who was tipped for the Rose job, said: “The boys are looking forward to it, it’s a wee chance to pit their wits against the favourites for the league and see where we are. It’s our biggest test so far, but the next game is always the biggest test. Bonnyrigg are the pinnacle if you’re looking at a Junior club in terms of what they did in the Scottish last year, but they’ll be hurting because at the end of the day they didn’t win a trophy last season. I’ve no doubt they’ll want to put that right.

“Looking at the game as a whole, I wouldn’t say there is any pressure on us. There’s no expectation that we should be beating a team like Bonnyrigg. If we get beat tomorrow, the worst-case scenario is we’d be a point off the top of the league after seven games.

“They might get a wee lift from having a new manager and they might not. We’ll just concentrate on our job and hopefully we can make it a nightmare for him.

“I know Davie pretty well, we played together at Bo’ness for short time and we chat every few months. He’s a well respected guy in the game and I’m sure he’ll do a good job.”