Bonnyrigg Rose finished comfortably at the top of the South East Region Youth Football Association (SERYFA) Division 2, with 50 points, followed by the second place Loanhead MYFC Blues with 39 points. Bonnyrigg remained undefeated, with 16 wins and 2 draws throughout the whole season. We caught up with the coach, Colin McCulloch to find out how they done it.
Any team is expected to be happy and excited about winning the league and Bonnyrigg are no exception. Colin said, "We are delighted with securing the league last Monday night against Penicuik Athletic, with 2 games to go, we have managed to go unbeaten in the league so far this season, and are hoping to carry that on with our 2 remaining games." Having a winning attitude gave Bonnyrigg the chance to win the league and that same attitude could see them undefeated by the end of the season.
Picking a favourite moment from the season is a difficult task for any team coach and Colin picked an obvious but reasonable choice. He said, "The favourite moment was Monday night at the final whistle, when we secured the league. There was a mixture of relief, joy and satisfaction that the group of players who the majority of have been with the team for 10 or more years. The celebration on the pitch and in the changing rooms after where you could see the delight on all the players and coaches faces is a great memory." The hard work put in by the coaches and players on the pitch and in training sessions paid off with the league clinching win and, so far, undefeated season.
Although they are undefeated in the league, they still faced trials and tribulations throughout the season. Colin said, "It has not just been one match, there were a few contenders at the beginning of the season, with Loanhead MYFC Blues setting an early pace in terms of points, and Cockenzie Star being our closest rivals in terms of winning games. Also other teams have been giving their all against us, but the squad remained motivated and had a "fight to the end" attitude." The teams have been battling it out for top spot since day one, with each team looking to dethrone the other from the top of the league.
There has also been internal struggles with Bonnyrigg, Colin commented, "There has also been challenges with injuries during the season, one of our midfielders out since October, our goalkeeper was out before Christmas for a number of weeks and over the last two months losing both of our regular centre halves who were outstanding this season. The squad of players have been adaptable and willing to help out and cover a number of positions when needed." The internal struggles would have held a lot of teams back from achieving their full potential but Bonnyrigg pulled together and played as a team in every scenario.
The reason for their success is plain and obvious to Colin, he said, "The group of players have developed a strong bond over the number of years they have been together, including the couple of new players who joined the squad this season, helping them to settle and be part of the group, and showing a real desire to play for each other and the team. This season is also the last season for the group of players and they were determined to finish with the best possible season they could achieve, and with two cup finals to play for before the end of the season, I think they have achieved just that." Having the final season of football potentially end undefeated is a great achievement.
Although the team won't be under the same coaching staff anymore, Colin has high hopes for the boys' future, he commented, "This will be the teams last season as the coaching staff retire for a well deserved rest and the players move onwards and upwards with half of the players moving on to play for university teams, one player off to America on a scholarship, and the rest hopefully moving up to Bonnyrigg Rose Under 21's team where I hope they will continue to enjoy their football as much as they have this season." After a very successful season the boys are looking to further their football careers and will hopefully find success.
Colin had some final comments to add in regards to this season for his team, he said, "This has been a season to remember for myself, Paul and Danny in our coaching capactities, and i'm sure they would agree when I say we have enjoyed our time with them over the years but in particular this year, where we have achieved a great deal, and hopefully a wee bit more before we have finished."
After a wonderful season from Bonnyrigg, they are moving on and hopefully each player finds the success they are hoping for wherever they go.