Transfer round-up: Bonnyrigg Rose, Tranent Juniors and Musselburgh Athletic active in the market
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Bonnyrigg have freshened up their attacking options for the remainder of their inaugural league 2 campaign by signing 31-year-old striker Zander Murray from Gala Fairydean Rovers and allowing George Hunter to depart for East of Scotland League Musselburgh Athletic alongside defender Bob Wilson. Lowland league title challengers Tranent Juniors have also landed the striker they’ve been searching for by signing Daryl Healy from Dundonald Bluebell.
Manager Robbie Horn will hoping Murray can provide goals to a Bonnyrigg team who have been struggling to find the net with enough regularity. Currently bottom of a very tightly-congested table, Bonnyrigg have scored 23 goals in 19 games this season but Murray arrives with a good goal-scoring record.
He netted a club record 25 goals during Gala’s 2021/22 campaign in the Lowland League and has already chalked up nine in 17 appearances this season. A youth player at Motherwell and Airdrie before later spells with Broxburn and Pumpherston preceded a move to Gala in September 2019, Murray has scored more than 100 goals for the Borders club and is now being given his first crack at SPFL football at the age of 31.
Horn had competition to win Murray’s signature and get the deal over the line and has tried to sign him before. “Zander is a player we’ve admired for a long time now,” he said. “We have actually tried to sign him before. He’s desperate for a crack at senior football and this is probably his last chance. He’s quick, strong and scores goals.”
Murray’s arrival has paved the way for Hunter’s departure, who moves to Musselburgh after three and a half years at Bonnyrigg, for whom he scored 38 times in 104 games. The talented former Spartans, St Johnstone, Selkirk and Newtongrange Star striker can expect more game time at his home-town club than he has had at Bonnyrigg this season, where he has mainly been used from the bench.
Bringing Hunter and Wilson back to Olivebank is a real statement of intent and a massive coup for Musselburgh boss Liam Burns, who will be aiming to finish as the best of the rest behind title favourite Linlithgow Rose in a very competitive East of Scotland Premier Division. The experienced centre-back, who joined Bonnyrigg from Stenhousemuir in July 2020, will be returning to Musselburgh for the third time in his career after two previous loan spells.
Meanwhile, Tranent’s long search for a striker to bolster their challenge for the Lowland League title has finally ended with the signing of 25-year-old Healy from Dundonald. Manager Colin Nish has been looking for a more physical presence in attack to supplement his attacking options and Healy, who played alongside Murray at Gala until last summer, provides exactly that.
Elsewhere, Spartans striker Joe Tait’s loan to Haddington Athletic has been extended until the end of the season. Other January moves include the return of forward Nico Salazar to Penicuik Athletic and Whitehill Welfare’s capture of former Musselburgh midfielder Matt Sipowicz and striker Dan Garvey from Vale of Leithen. Sipowicz scored on his debut in a 4-1 win over Kirkcaldy & Dysart on Saturday, but the Rosewell team remain one place above the relegation zone in the East of Scotland First Division.