Johnny Harvey may have left Penicuik Athletic for pastures new but hot-shot striker Wayne McIntosh insists the show will go on as the Cuikie aim to continue their 100 per cent start to their East of Scotland League Conference A campaign.
Harvey quit Penicuik for League Two Berwick Rangers last week after two years at the club, with the pull of an opportunity to manage at a higher level too strong for the fledging young boss who has had a rapid rise since taking over as Edinburgh United boss five years ago.
It is like déjà vu for McIntosh, who saw Berwick take then-Bonnyrigg boss Robbie Horn from New Dundas Park little more than a year ago when he was a Rose player.
Despite the shock of losing his manager, he is confident that Penicuik can continue their excellent start to life in the East of Scotland League, with former assistant manager and ex-Hibs ladies boss Kevin Milne currently in temporary charge alongside Harvey’s former assistant Tony Begg.
“I was speaking to Robbie [Horn] and I had a wee laugh about it, because it did happen,” said McIntosh.
“I said it to Johnny ‘That’s twice that’s happened me!’ – my manager has bolted and they’ve gone to Berwick. Johnny is a great young manager and I think he had to take the chance. Like what Robbie did, he knew he had to try it for himself. Obviously for Robbie it hasn’t worked out the way he would’ve liked, but at least he’s tried it.
“I think Johnny will go down with a different approach, things aren’t going to change overnight down there for him, but he has got a good reputation of making teams better – he did that at Haddington and Penicuik – he went there and did well with the budget he had.
“It shocked a lot of the boys to be honest with you. He was a big character and the way he approaches everything ... he has got a style the way he plays, which I was adapting too. He had a lot of respect and the boys were all gutted with him leaving.
“It’s a foot in the door for him and who’s to say he won’t turn things around and do well. It’s a big platform for him.”
Penicuik sit three points clear of Hill of Beath Hawthorn in their East of Scotland conference ahead of hosting Easthouses Lily tomorrow. McIntosh has played a big part, netting 15 of their 43 league goals. The fact he continues to find the net at 33 is no surprise. What shocked many, though, was his departure from Bonnyrigg last season where he played a key role in their recent success.
McIntosh, who won East of Scotland titles with Lothian Thistle and Whitehill Welfare, continued: “I’m certainly enjoying it at Penicuik just now, I’m flying at the moment. People say you aren’t playing against teams that are very great, aye granted, but at the end of the day I still need to go out and do a job, and I still need to score goals. I feel like I am sharper and I have the hunger back again.
“The circumstances weren’t right for me when I sat down and spoke to Davie White; it wasn’t the right deal for me. Johnny was keen, and the offer from Bonnyrigg wasn’t anywhere near as good as Penicuik.
“I didn’t feel like I was wanted, I had been at the club for three years and I was top goalscorer for two years. I felt a wee bit let down to be honest.
“I loved it at the club, they are a brilliant club and I will have friends up there who will probably be friends for the rest of my life. There are a lot of good fans up there who I love and miss, but I’ve gone to Penicuik and all the supporters seem to be right behind me.”