Transfer-listed Bo’ness players fired up for derby

Chris Donnelly had verbally agreed to sign with Bo'ness next season
Chris Donnelly had verbally agreed to sign with Bo'ness next season
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Bo’ness United’s Chris Donnelly insists he’ll be giving his all between now and the end of the season despite being one of several players to be told on Monday night they no longer have a future at the club.

The club captain doesn’t even know if he’ll be leading his team out at Prestonfield against fierce rivals Linlithgow Rose tomorrow after manager Allan McGonigal transfer-listed seven of the club’s first team regulars after training earlier this week.

The attacking midfielder was as shocked as any of his team-mates when McGonigal informed the players that they would be available for transfer come the end of the season. Donnelly, in his seventh season at Newtown Park, had verbally agreed to extend his current deal – he’s out of contract come the end of the season.

Five of the players – Stuart Hunter, Stewart Devine, Ross Campbell, Scott Gibb and Will Snowdon had all signed extensions to their current deals in recent weeks, but their futures at the club are now shrouded in doubt.

“It’s been a strange week to say the least, it’s not been ideal,” said Donnelly.

“It was totally out of the blue for everybody, it certainly wasn’t expected. I had verbally agreed to stay on next season and I was just planning to sign back on before this all happened. I love playing with the boys, but it’s certainly given me something to think about.”

Despite rocking their preparations for tomorrow’s match, Donnelly insists it hasn’t affected their mentality – his team will be doing all they can to take all three points from the derby clash.

Bo’ness sit in second spot in the Super League, four points off leaders Bonnyrigg Rose although they have played two games more than Robbie Horn’s side.

Donnelly added: “It’s not changed our mindset for Saturday, we’d be be going out to get the win before and we’re still the exact same. We’ll be doing everything we can to get the three points and the bragging rights.

“The best games to play in are against Lithgae – it’s a great atmosphere, it’s just a great game to be involved in. You are fired up so much more than any other game. Whoever is involved will be giving 110 per cent to go and beat your nearest rivals, it won’t affect whether I’m selected or not on Saturday – I’ll be giving my best as usual.”

Linlithgow still have an outside chance of title success themselves. They host the league leaders on Wednesday night at Prestonfield, but boss David McGlynn believes it is Bonnyrigg’s to lose now.

“We can’t win the league, it’s in Bonnyrigg’s hands and Bonnyrigg will win the league,” he said. “It’s theirs to lose, they would need to lose two games for us to be in with a chance and that’s us beating them as well.

“We’ll be making sure we are competing in the games, but I think the league is beyond us. Kelty and Bonnyrigg both have an easier run in compared to everybody else.”

Long-term absentee Ruari MacLennan is nearing a return after rupturing his Achillies’ tendon at the beginning of the season.

Elsewhere, Bonnyrigg host Musselburgh Athletic at New Dundas Park as they look to maintain their four-point advantage over Bo’ness. Newtongrange Star are at home to Hill of Beath, while Penicuik Athletic entertain Broughty.