Mark Bradley takes his Linlithgow Rose team north to face Deveronvale in the William Hill Scottish Cup at Princess Royal Park in Banff tomorrow, boosted by the signing of a former Hibs player.
Central defender Paul Hilland, pictured below, played for the Easter Road side until 2003 before spells at Queen of the South and Raith Rovers followed, and Bradley is expecting big things of him.
“Hilland is a big boy with bags of experience,” said Bradley. “He’s over six feet and solid – just what we’ve been looking for. He’s just back from Australia but he’s been training with us for the last couple of weeks and could slot into the line-up easily.”
Deveronvale are the second Highland League outfit Rose have been drawn against in this season’s competition, having beaten Nairn County 2-0 at Prestonfield in the first round. Bradley has done his homework on tomorrow’s opponents and anticipates nothing less than a “hard shift”.
“I had a look at them when they played Formartine and lost 3–1. It will be a tough ask for us because they are a typical Highland League side playing in front of their own fans. We have Ruari MacLennan, David Dunn and Jamie McKenzie all back from injury so we have cover for everybody but the extra central defender is a bonus for us.”
The need to acquire someone of Hilland’s experience becomes more obvious when Bradley runs the rule over the absentees from his squad, though. “John Ovenstone will be out for another few weeks along with Adam Nelson. They are big players for us so cover for the back is important.”
Deveronvale are sixth in the Highland League after Charlie Charlesworth’s side won 2-0 against Clach last weekend.