Sean Paliczka regards his period at Bonnyrgg Rose as the best of his career, but tomorrow afternoon he’ll be looking to put a dent in their Super League title hopes.
The 31-year-old striker spent a trophy-laden six-year spell at New Dundas Park in which he won the Super League twice. He harbours fond memories of his time in a red and white shirt, but he’ll put those to one side tomorrow has he lines-up for Musselburgh Athletic, a club who have their own ambitions of championship success.
Paliczka is part of a group of five players at Olivebank who each hold at least one Super League medal from their time with Rose, the others being Steven Thomson, Liam McKenna, Kevin McLeish and Kevin Bracks.
“I can’t wait for tomorrow,” he said. “They are going through a good spell, apart from last weekend and so are we, we’ve only been beaten once in about ten games. Both teams are in a bit of good form and it should be a good game.
“There’s a few ex Bonnyrigg players that play here. I think all of us have got Super League medals and as much as we all loved our time at Bonnyrigg, we play for Musselburgh now so we’ll be going out and looking to win the match.”
Burgh have played just once in nine weeks during the winter period with the weather making their break over Christmas longer than their period without a competitive match over pre-season.
They went into the two-week break before the festivities unbeaten in their last nine Super League games in a run which propelled them into contention for the title. However, on their first match back in mid-January they suffered a blow to their hopes with a 3-0 loss at St Andrews.
Bonnyrigg hadn’t tasted defeat since August before last weekend, a 19-game unbeaten run ended at the hands of west outfit Pollok as Rose suffered a 5-0 mauling in the Scottish Junior Cup.
They go into tomorrow’s match at Olivebank eager to right the wrongs of that defeat and Paliczka is expecting them to be fired up for the derby clash.
“It’s a derby for a start and the fact they have just been beaten five-nil will make them desperate to get back to winning ways,” said the former Hibs youngster. “We’re the same, we got beat in our last game against St Andrews and we want to get going again.”
Rose are joint top of the league standings alongside Bo’ness United although they have two games in hand, while Burgh are a further four points behind in fourth place.
The destination of the title lies in Bonnyrigg’s hands although Burgh boss Stevie McLeish insists his team wouldn’t be out of the race if they were to taste defeat tomorrow.
“We’re just going to go and enjoy the game, win, lose or draw it’s just a game of football,” he said. “I’m sure Bonnyrigg will be going into it with the same mentality and hopefully the two teams put on a good spectacle.
“Anytime is a good time to play them, you’ve got to play them at some point. I think it’s got the makings of a right good game, both teams have been banging in the goals this season.
“This game won’t decide where the league will go, it’s just another three points. If either of the teams get beat their chances aren’t finished just yet.”
Musselburgh have added youngster Jack Wright to their squad. McLeish’s nephew spent time on loan at Olivebank from Cowdenbeath earlier in the season but he has now joined on a permanent deal.