Bonnyrigg chairman: We can dare to dream
Bonnyrigg Rose chairman Charlie Kirkwood has been associated with the club for over 50 years, but Saturday's trip to Tynecastle will be his proudest moment yet.
He was a kit boy when they won the Scottish Junior Cup in 1966, and helped out behind the scenes for many years before taking over as chairman seven years ago.
And he admits that he will be pinching himself this weekend as 5000 Bonnyrigg fans descend on Tynecastle for the club’s biggest ever game against Hibernian in the Scottish Cup fourth round.
“The whole place is buzzing,” he explained. “We’re all asking ourselves, is it real?
“When you take over a junior team you never think of days like this ... you always have a wee dream about them but never think it’s actually going to happen.
“When we took over Bonnyrigg it was in a bad way, but that night at Dumbarton was the proudest moment I’ve ever had in football.
“If we could top that by winning on Saturday it would just be unbelieveable, but as I keep telling the committee, we can dare to dream.”
Kirkwood paid tribute to manager Robbie Horn, who since his appointment 18 months ago has guided the club to the Super League title, and the Scottish Cup fourth round, knocking out Championship side Dumbarton along the way.
“We’ve came on massively under Robbie,” Kirkwood said. “His man management is second to none.
“We’ve had good managers in the past, but Robbie has taken us another step forward. He’s brought in average players and made them better.
“I don’t think he’s made any secret that he’d love to be a senior manager so we may lose him one day. If that day comes we’ll just have to address it, but we’ll enjoy the moment.”
Kirkwood shares the confidence of his manager that Rose can cause a major upset on Saturday.
“I’m really confident any time we play a game,” he said.
“We beat Raith Rovers in pre-season and they had about seven first team players out but our boys just seem to rise to the occasion.
“We were the better team against Dumbarton over both games too, and Hibs seemed to struggle against them on Saturday so we’ve definitely got a chance.
“They are all really good boys who work hard for each other and go out together, and that camaraderie has taken us to where we are today.
“But we can play football too.”
The match at Tynecastle is a 12,500 sell-out - it would have been more but the main stand is closed for reconstruction work - making it Bonnyrigg’s biggest ever pay day.
“People keep telling me how much we’ll make but I’ve no idea,” Kirkwood added.
“It’s going to be good for the club - there’s no doubt about that whatsoever.
“It takes a wee bit of pressure off myself and the rest of the board who have worked their socks off to get us where we are today.
“Over the last seven years we’ve done really well.
“The place was in a bit of turmoil but this makes all the hard work for us worthwhile.”