Robbie Horn has vowed not to raid former club Bonnyrigg Rose on the final day of the transfer window after taking the reins at the club where he made his name as a player.
The 40-year-old was appointed Berwick Rangers manager on Tuesday, ending a fruitful two-year spell at Bonnyrigg where he re-established the club as one of the biggest names in junior football.
Horn helped put the Midlothian club on the map as they faced Scottish Cup holders Hibs in a glamour fourth-round tie at Tynecastle in January, attracting UK-wide coverage.
Horn paid tribute to his squad which he led to the Super League title in 2016 – his first season in charge – but has vowed not to take any of them to Shielfield Park for the time being, at least.
“It’s not the right time and I’ve said that to the club – at this moment in time I wouldn’t do that, it doesn’t sit right with me,” said Horn. “Who is to know in the future what might happen? But at the moment, no.
“There’s no point me diving in to take players with me, because they wouldn’t let anyone go as a new manager coming in would make these decisions on their players. It’s not going to happen at the moment.
“These boys are worth a lot of money too, they’ve done great for me. The spirit they created over the last two years is credit to them. As a manager, you guide them, then it’s up to them sometimes. The spirit they created was a lot down to the success we had.
“It will be difficult to recreate that spirit at Berwick, because what we had in that dressing-room at Bonnyrigg was something special. Not just in the dressing room, but the relationship between the committee, management and players was something special; it was a special bond. I’m going to try and build a team spirit and togetherness at Berwick, and you can be successful if you do that.”
Horn said his goodbyes to the committee and players at New Dundas Park when he took his final training session on Tuesday alongside assistant David Burrell, who joins him in making the move to the League Two club.
The opportunity to return to Berwick, where he lifted the Third Division title in 2007, and take his first crack at management in the senior ranks was too tempting to turn down.
“It was a difficult decision [to leave], I can’t lie about it,” continued Horn. “Bonnyrigg is a great club and they’ve been great with me, the players have been fantastic and I’ll be forever grateful for what they’ve done for me to get this opportunity.
“I had quite a lot of conversations with Charlie [Kirkwood, Bonnyrigg chairman] and Brendan [Parkinson, treasurer], especially regarding the situation. Charlie said to me ‘I knew this day would come’ when I first spoke to him about it. I don’t think it was that unexpected, but there is disappointment there that I have left. It’s the lure of an opportunity to manage and test myself at a higher level. I am ambitious and want to prove I can manage at senior level and this is the opportunity.
“Bonnyrigg are probably the best-run club in Scottish junior football and I absolutely loved it and will never forget the memories I’ve got from winning the league and the Scottish Cup run. I had amazing times at that club and I’ve no doubt that they will go from strength to strength – and that’s what people deserve at that club, they’ve earned it.”