Newbigging at Bo'ness helm

NEW Bo'ness boss Willie Newbigging is confident the East Region Super League champions can bounce back quickly from their "wee blip".

And he'll be leaning heavily on the man he replaced to get the Newtown Park side back to the sparkling form they showed last season.

Two days after Bo'ness started the defence of their title by losing 2-0 at home to Bathgate, Newbigging took over as manager last night from Allan McGonigal.

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He has been promoted from assistant manager in a move that stems from McGonigal's appointment as Hamilton Accies' under-19 boss earlier this summer.

The weight of trying to do two jobs was proving too much for McGonigal so he's stepping aside to let Newbigging call the shots at Bo'ness, where the pair are effectively swapping roles.

McGonigal is unlikely to be at many Bo'ness games due to his commitments with the SPL side but, with the full blessing of the new boss, will still be involved in the background.

"I'm honoured and flattered to be the new manager," said Newbigging, who had a successful spell in charge of Oakley before linking up with McGonigal at the end of the 2008-09 season at Bo'ness.

"When the chance first arose, I wasn't sure as I know the time and effort that's required but, after sitting down and talking it through with my wife as well as Allan, I'm delighted to be taking it on.

"We suffered a wee blip in our opening league game on Saturday but it's maybe not a bad thing for that to happen in the first game.

"I am confident we can bounce back quickly and, of course, my first game as manager is a League Cup semi-final against Camelon tomorrow night."

McGonigal, who moulded a side that emerged as worthy champions last season, says he couldn't have carried on doing the two jobs and is delighted to see Newbigging get his opportunity.

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"I was killing myself," he said. "I was trying to keep everyone happy doing two jobs but probably wasn't doing either of them as well as I would have wanted.

Bo'ness secretary John Aitchison said: "The rumour mill is going ten a penny at the moment but that's what happens when you've just won the league.

"The simple fact of the matter is that Allan was struggling to do the two jobs. It was something we had discussed previously and this certainly hasn't been triggered by losing to Bathgate.

"Willie is more than capable of taking on the job and Allan will still be there in the background. Basically, they are swapping roles."

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