BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
BONNYRIGG ROSE’S East Super League-winning captain Ross Archibald has dramatically come out of retirement as the Juniors aim to create a Scottish Cup fairytale this weekend.
With off the field commitments taking their toll, inspirational Archibald hung up his boots on a high at the end of last season after leading Rose to a third title in the last seven years.
However, he has been training with Robbie Horn’s men of late and has quickly rediscovered his passion for the game.
And, ahead of what Horn describes as one of the biggest games in the Midlothian club’s 135-year history, Archibald has re-signed and could face Dumbarton at New Dundas Park tomorrow afternoon.
Horn said: “Archie [Archibald] had a lot going on in the summer – he got married and he was away travelling. He’s had a few injuries as well, so felt at the end of last season it was the right time to call it a day.
“However, he has missed it, as I thought he would. He has been in training a couple of times and I think maybe he has realised it was a wee bit early to pack it in. So, Archie is back – and the timing isn’t bad!
“It is fantastic for the club, for the players and for me. He is someone who is highly respected by the players, supporters and the committee. It is great to have him back and it is just another wee boost ahead of this game.”
Bonnyrigg, meanwhile, have shelled out for pitch covers, which will be laid on Friday to ensure the fixture is not affected by frost – and Horn is confident his players will not freeze on the big occasion.
He does, however, concede that Rose must overcome a gap in class when the Sons come to town in the third round.
Former Berwick Rangers assistant Horn added: ”I don’t think there is a great deal between the top Junior sides and the teams in League 1 and 2.
“However, the Championship is another step up. Dumbarton might be part-time, but they come here with Darren Barr, Ryan Stevenson, Sammy Stanton, Frazer Wright – quality players.
“It is a huge task for us but if we perform to the levels we can, and they have a slight off day, then you just never know. You need to believe.”