Mark Bradley setting sights high on return to Linlithgow hotseat

Returning Linlithgow Rose boss Mark Bradley has stated his wish to challenge for both the Super League and Scottish Junior Cup next season.

Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 7:30 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:16 pm
Mark Bradley was Linlithgow Rose manager from 2011 to 2014

The Prestonfield men have struggled to compete for the top honours in recent years and only just secured their Super League status for next season last weekend, having flirted with relegation to the Premier League. Bradley, who was announced as the club’s new manager on Monday night – returning to Rose following a three-year spell as boss there from 2011-14 – is determined to bring the glory days back to Prestonfield. The former Hearts player led Rose to the Super League in season 2012/13, enjoying an unbeaten league campaign as part of a 16-month period without defeat.

“It’s a club that demands success and that’s what I was told the day I signed as a player,” said Bradley.

“We did it. We brought trophies in, we played well and won a lot of games and we were exciting to watch. That never altered when I became manager. It was the same remit but I think the club has got away from that a little bit. Hopefully with the ideas we’ve got, we can bring that back.

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“There’s no point coming in and saying ‘we’ll need to build and give it time’. We need to be challenging and I’m sure once I settle, we’ll be targeting the Scottish Cup and the league. I don’t mind that pressure because it keeps you focused.”

Bradley replaces Todd Lumsden, who was sacked earlier this month, and becomes the club’s fifth manager in just three years. The 41-year-old was in charge of West Super Premier Division side Kilburnie Ladeside until Saturday night when they opted to relieve Bradley of his duties and appointed Billy McGhie as their new boss.

“Linlithgow approached Kilburnie and asked for permission to speak to me out of the blue last Tuesday. I was actually planning to meet the boys at Kilburnie about re-signing last Tuesday night but they allowed me to speak to Linlithgow because I wasn’t contracted anyway. There was a reluctance for it to happen but they knew I wanted to speak to Linlithgow. I understand Kilburnie couldn’t wait [for Linlithgow to make their decision] because they have no players signed and their season finished a couple of weeks back. I totally understand their decision to have to move on. I put myself in a little bit of a position where I could’ve been out of the football but it’s worked out well and I’m back into training tomorrow.”

Rose begin their second spell with Bradley at the helm when they visit Lochee United on Saturday – the first of three remaining Super League matches. With the bulk of the squad out of contract next month, Bradley will assess his charges to determine which players will be offered deals ahead of next season.