Bonnyrigg Rose boss David White has backed his side to do the unthinkable once again in the William Hill Scottish Cup.
The New Dundas Park men made shockwaves across Scottish football after their run in the competition during season 2016/17 – a fairytale journey which culminated in a glamour tie against Hibs at Tynecastle – a match that will always be remembered despite the Hibees running out 8-1 winners in Gorgie.
White was part of then manager Robbie Horn’s backroom staff and he is desperate for his players to go on and make a name for themselves once more, although they’ll have to navigate a tricky Preliminary Round two tie at home to Scottish Amateur Cup winners Shortlees tomorrow. They Ayrshire team knocked out fellow East of Scotland club Tynecastle in the previous round.
“The run we had a couple of years ago was brilliant and we got so much out of it,” said White.
“The publicity and the exposure we got from that and just financially for the club as well, it was fantastic. The fact the club got to play Hibs at Tynecastle was a once in a lifetime opportunity, but at the same time, we’ve got another opportunity this year to try and go on the same sort of run. You obviously need to have the luck of the draw and good performances in the early rounds, but there is still that opportunity there to do it again.
“There’s no reason why we can’t, we still have a good squad which I feel are capable of competing against most second division teams. It wouldn’t be an upset for me if we were to go and beat teams.
“First and foremost we have a tough game against Shortlees. Although they are an amateur club by name, from the reports I’ve had they are very good team and they’ve got very good players, so we’ll be taking nothing for granted.
“The boys know what the rewards are if we are to get through the tie. Just the excitement of being in the draw... if we draw anyone at home, I’d be confident we could give them a good game.”
Preston Athletic host Linlithgow Rose at the Pennypit in an all-East of Scotland clash with a place in the first round proper at stake.
Rose boss Mark Bradley is looking forward to facing off against Preston manager Jack Lynch, both former Hearts team-mates and adversaries who regularly did battle during their careers in the Junior game.
“I’ve known Jack for a long time,” said Bradley. “I’ve not seen him for a long time; I think the last time I saw him he was playing for Arniston, so that’s a long time ago! He was a big lump of a boy and you knew you were going to get a smack off of him.
“I’ve been reading up on them and keeping track of all their results.
“I know it will be a hard game and they will want to progress in the cup as well. They had a good result getting through against Glasgow Uni in the last round, but suffered a wee bit of a bad result on Saturday against Jeanfield. Jack will have his team fired up and ready to go.
“The Scottish Cup is massively important to Linlithgow. The club invests a lot of money to make sure we are compliant to be in the Scottish Cup as an SFA member so we need to treat it with total focus and try and get through.
“We let ourselves down last year against Banks O’ Dee when we went out early doors so we’ll be all geared up to try and make that not happen again tomorrow and try and get a result.”
Elsewhere, Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale are in north Ayrshire to take on west Junior club Beith Juniors as they bid to kick-off another memorable run in the competition.