Bonnyrigg Rose confirm intention to leave Juniors and join pyramid

New Dundas Park, Bonnyrigg Rose (picture: Scott Louden)
New Dundas Park, Bonnyrigg Rose (picture: Scott Louden)

Bonnyrigg Rose have confirmed their intention to leave the Juniors and join the East of Scotland League from the start of the next season, pending a successful application.

The club are one of at least a dozen Junior teams, including Camelon and Dalkeith Thistle, who have applied to join the EOS after the summer and follow in the footsteps of former Superleague side Kelty Hearts.

The Rose broke their silence over talks held at their EGM last month before their weekend match.

Members were polled on whether they wanted to join the EOS league next season or wait to see the outcome of a survey handed out by the Scottish Junior FA to their member clubs in February.

The results were unknown at the time, but it was revealed that nearly two thirds of junior clubs voted to join the senior pyramid. And at the EGM, an overwhelming majority (82 per cent) of Rose members, voted in favour of the joining the league in time for the 2018-19 season.

A statement on the club’s website said: “We can formally announce of our intention to join the East of Scotland league next season, subject to their ratification of our application, having given notice to the SJFA and ERSJFA earlier this week.

“We have sequenced our intentions officially in this way to allow the Junior associations time to plan ahead for next season, and also by way of courtesy to an association that we have been members of for just over 120 years.”

Bonnyrigg said the reasons behind the decision to join the EOS was to attain their long-term goal of a SFA entry licence, which they cannot get in the current league they are in.

The licence is a set of quality standards, which clubs have to meet across different categories including ground, first team structures, youth team structures and legal, administration and finance.

The club believe the licence would allow them to enhance facilities, open up third party funding channels, receive an annual member’s payment and entry into the preliminary round of the Scottish Cup.

Brendan Parkinson, the club’s treasurer, said: “Committees have had a history at this club of making the right decisions.

The Superleague has been fantastic for us and we’d like to give a nod to the Juniors for their help especially in the beginning.

“We’ve had our detractors saying that we have turned our back on our history but we have not. If you are not moving forward, you are standing still and you are going to be left behind.

He added: “If we sit we could be potentially playing in tier eight.

"This move gives us clarity as we know what league we will be playing in next season, whereas the Juniors still need to hold a EGM or AGM in the summer and ratify their plans to move to the East of Scotland league, which wouldn’t happen until 2019-20.

"The clubs could vote against it and we would be back to square one.”

The Rose’s application will be voted on alongside side the other applications at the EOS’ EGM on Thursday.