Bonnyrigg Rose boss Robbie Horn frustrated by SFA licence uncertainty

Bonnyrigg Rose boss Robbie Horn admits it is “incredibly frustrating” that they still don’t know whether or not they will be granted a SFA Licence, with the Lowland League deadline fast approaching on Sunday (March 31).

Bonnyrigg Rose have already shown their Lowland League credentials (picture: Scott Louden)
Bonnyrigg Rose have already shown their Lowland League credentials (picture: Scott Louden)

It’s a big week for the club, with a point on Friday night against Dunipace securing the Conference B crown in the East of Scotland League and, if they were to win the play-off rounds that follow, they would then play the South of Scotland winners for a place in the Lowland League next season.

However, the East of Scotland winners would only be promoted if they have a licence, and they must also have floodlights in place by the start of next season under the new criteria – which the club are working on.

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Horn believes the uncertainty is not a distraction for the players but he concedes it has been on the minds of the management and staff.

He told the Advertiser: “I don’t think it affects the players’ focus, they just get on with it on the park but there is obviously a lot of talk between the management and committee.

“It is incredibly frustrating, so hopefully it will be resolved. I can’t see why any of the clubs wouldn’t be promoted. The club are working hard in the background to get floodlights as well. We’re trying to be as professional as we can but we’ve got to earn our spot with performances.”

The Rose are coming into their clash with Dunipace in fine form after sealing their place in the Football Nation Qualifying Cup quarter-finals with a 4-2 win over Jeanfield Swifts. Horn’s men raced into a four-goal lead inside the first half an hour and he felt that was as good as they have been since his return to the club.

He said: “We just blew them away and we could have been further ahead. We did what we had to do in the second half and thought we managed the game well.

“It’s a Friday night which is great but we will treat it like any other game. We just need a point to secure the Conference but we will be going out to win it. We’ve got big games ahead so we will have to think about rotating the squad.

“It would be a good achievement to win the Conference but it’s about getting to the Lowland League in my view. The play-offs are massive games for the club. We could come up against Penicuik, obviously, we knew each other well so I’m sure there will be plenty of banter flying about.”