Why Musselburgh Athletic managerial change poses a problem for Haddington

Haddington Athletic boss Scott Bonar believes tomorrow’s East Lothian derby clash at home to Musselburgh Athletic will be more difficult for his side in the wake of Joe Hamill’s exit as manager.

In a statement released by the Olivebank club this week, Hamill resigned from his post following last weekend’s Scottish Cup exit to Newtongrange, sighting Hamill needed to “focus on private life matters away from football.”

Captain Matti King and Jackie Myles will take charge of Burgh with a new management team expected to be unveiled next week.

Bonar reckons his side are facing a wounded animal in the East of Scotland Premier League, in a fixture card full of local derbies.

Haddington Athletic manager Scott Bonar is expecting a difficult derby against Musselburgh

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“We are looking forward to it, it should be a good crowd at Millfield,” said Bonar. “Irrespective of who is in the dugout, they will want to bounce back from the Scottish Cup game – some of them will feel like their pride has been hurt, so they will be up for it.

“Musselburgh will be prepared so we need to be right at it, otherwise we will be caught short. It’s probably a harder game now for us because Joe has left, the players will want to work hard for each other and if their new manager is watching the players will want to prove a point.”

The Hi-Hi have been without a match in three weeks since a stirring 2-1 victory away to Dundonald Bluebell when Bonar’s side were down to the barebones.

He added: “The break has done us the world of good. I was down to ten first team players for the Dundonald game; I had a couple of under 20s who had played the night before, I had to start one of them [Lucas Martin] at right-back who had never played right back before, he’s a centre midfielder and it was his first senior game, he played 90 minutes on the Friday night.

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“It shows the squad that we’ve built has done well with our start to the season, because of the number of injuries we’ve had. The result against Dundonald, we did really well.

“In giving all these young laddies games, it is going to auger well for the future when they have that experience and players are back from injury, the squad will look strong.”