Title built on team spirit

McIntosh  scores the third Bonnyrigg goal against St Andrews in March
McIntosh scores the third Bonnyrigg goal against St Andrews in March

Bonnyrigg Rose manager Robbie Horn has been reflecting on his side’s title-winning season and is looking forward to the next campaign.

His side’s achievement is all the more remarkable given that he only took the reins at New Dundas Park last June.

Horn puts the title triumph down to character and an incredible team spirit.

He said: “I told the players when I came here last summer that I was here to compete for honours, not just make up the numbers.

“So we have had that 
attitude since the start of the season.

“It’s credit to the players. Their attitude has been absolutely spot on.

“Their desire to win football matches when things have been against them, it’s a big thing. It shows character, which is a big thing in football.

“It’s not just been one or two that have pulled us through. Everyone in the squad has contributed at 
certain points this season.

“And that’s worth its weight in gold.

“The boys who have maybe not played as much have still shown the right attitude.

“It’s the best team spirit I have ever been involved in.

“Even around the club, with the committee etc. Everybody gets on, there is a great atmosphere here.

“I’m very proud to manage this group of players, and to manage Bonnyrigg Rose as well.

“The backing of the staff has been great.

“We have had consistency. And over the course of the season nobody could argue that we have been the best team. It’s not been luck.

“Even the games we have been down in. We have shown character to come back. It’s not luck, it’s desire.

“We have won the league on merit, we’ve been the best team over the course of the season.”

The title-winning manager looked back on what for him were the highlights of the season.

He said: “I brought in about 10 players when I arrived. But there was a nucleus of a good squad left behind.

“It has just been a fantastic journey from the start.

“There have been a number of games that stand out.

“Probably when we played Bo’ness at home. We were 2-1 down and came back to win 3-2.

“Moysey scored an absolute screamer away at last season’s champions Kelty Hearts to win 1-0.

“And away at Linlithgow with ten men, where we equalised with a minute to go.

“That was a massive result for us. It gave us the belief that we were just about there.

“There has not been many times the players have had to get a hard time from me, which shows how well they have done this season.

“There is competition for places throughout. Which brings consistency.

“And when players have been out with injuries and suspensions, other players have stepped in and taken their opportunity.”

With the Super League title comes a coveted place in the Scottish Cup, just one of the reasons the Bonnyrigg boss is excited about the 2016/17 campaign.

He said: “Next season we have obviously got the big Scottish Cup to look forward to.

“That’s a huge thing for the club. It brings prestige, and hopefully a bit of cash as well.

“We hope to win the league again. Only Bo’ness have defended the Super League title before. So it would be good to do that.

“And it would be great to compete better in the Scottish Junior Cup.

“The one game where we maybe let ourselves down this season was getting knocked out the Scottish Junior Cup by Pollok.

“It looks like they might win it, so there is no disgrace, but I thought we didn’t do ourselves justice that day.

“But we have recovered in the right way. Winning the league has helped us get over that.”