The Juniors Interview: Andy Scott of Bo'Ness United

Bo'ness United, the East Region Super League Champions of 2009/10 and 2010/11 are the current bookmakers' favourites to win this year's title, and are also much fancied to end their 31-year wait to bring the Scottish Cup back to Newtown Park. Key midfielder Andy Scott chats to eveningtimes.co.uk about their successful season so far and the importance of not thinking too far ahead…

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Name: Andy Scott

Club: Bo'ness United

Position: Midfield

Previous Clubs: Motherwell, Bellshill Athletic, Cumbernauld United, Alloa Athletic, Albion Rovers, Shotts Bon Accord.

Another great win for Bo'ness at the weekend over Bonnyrigg Rose, however you had to withdraw from the game with an injury in the warm-up, what happened?

Last Thursday at training one of our strikers actually landed on my foot, so I had a fitness test on Saturday and I had to pull out in the warm-up. I went to the hospital on Monday night and I've chipped a bone in my foot, so it looks as if I'll be out for at least two weeks.

The doctor said there might also be a slight fracture, so I've to go back in two weeks to get it X-rayed again, but hopefully it's not a fracture.

You must be anxious that you might be out for a spell with a lot of big games coming up?

Luckily we're playing in the Fife and Lothians Cup this Saturday, and no disrespect to that tournament, but the Scottish Cup won't be until the following week and hopefully I'll be back for then.

Obviously you want to be playing in the Scottish Cup because it's just a completely different atmosphere to any other game.

The bookmakers have you as favourites for the Scottish Cup, does that put added pressure on the players?

I seen that, and it's something you don't really want to be honest with you! The expectation on us is probably to at least make the final now because we put Bonnyrigg and Auchinleck out. I think a lot of people are expecting us to go far, but we're just taking one game at a time.

For the players, the league is probably the priority, but obviously in the juniors the Scottish Cup is probably the biggest trophy.

You have two games in hand over Newtongrange Star who you trail at the top of the table by six points, do you think you deserve the favourites tag for the title as well?

Our manager has come out in the papers to say that the league is over and Newtongrange have already won it, so he's probably not thinking like that!

I think beating Bonnyrigg on Saturday was a massive win for us, so that's put us five points clear of them, but Newtongrange are at the top and they've got the points on the board. There's a long way to go and we're still in every competition, so we're really getting to the business end of the season and nothing's been decided yet.

That's why you don't really want the favourites tag, because at this point of the season you haven't won anything.

Do you think being involved at the business end of so many competitions could work against you when it comes to winning the league?

We've actually had a lot of games on because the Bo'ness park is really good, so hopefully we won't have too many midweek games when it gets to the summer.

When I was with Shotts and we were in the Scottish Cup final it did hamper our league form and we ended up losing the league on goal difference. But we were playing Monday, Thursday and Saturday, and I think we played 10 games in something like 28 days, so it wasn't doable at Shotts where we only had a squad of about 15.

At Bo'ness we've probably got a bigger squad of about 20, but if you pick up a couple of injuries it's never good and if you're playing 2 or 3 times a week you are liable to pick up a lot more injuries.

It can also work for you though if you're winning because confidence breeds. You're happy to play midweek when you're winning.

You personally have an impressive Scottish Cup pedigree having being part of the Shotts side that won the trophy in 2012. Seeing how much it meant to that area at the time and with Bo'ness being such a community club, does it make you more determined to bring that success to the Bo'ness fans and local area?

When I look back to that day and think about it I still get goose-bumps now. After the game you saw how many people were at the park when we got back from the stadium, and you try to pass that on to the boys at Bo'ness.

Myself and Tony Jaconelli are at Bo'ness and we were both at Shotts, and I think Stuart Hunter our centre-half won the Scottish Cup at Bathgate, but apart from that there's not anyone who has really been near the final.

Our away support for most games is around 300, so you're trying to get it into their heads that if we got to the Scottish Cup final then the whole town would be behind us. You try not to get too far ahead of yourself, but when I think back to that day it was probably the best day of my football career, so hopefully we can get to the final even though we'll not be taking any of the teams we face lightly.

The draw for the 6th round of the Scottish Cup takes place tonight, is there anyone you would like to avoid?

Probably the main teams you'd probably be looking to avoid would be Hurlford and Irvine Meadow, but we'd take anyone at home. Our home record this season has been unbelievable.

We've only had one defeat which was against Bonnyrigg and that came the week after we beat Auchinleck, I think the boys were still tired from that game because we put so much into it.

I think we can beat anyone at home, but until we're through this round we're trying not to look too far ahead.

From a personal viewpoint, how have you felt your own season has gone?

I'm enjoying it. I think at Bo'ness I've been given a bit more freedom because the last few years, especially when I was at Alloa, I was playing wide. Allan McGonigal has given me the opportunity to play centre midfield which has given me much more license to get on the ball and make things happen, get forward and score goals.

I've been happy with how it's gone so far. It was quite a big step moving to the east because I hadn't played there before, but I wanted to experience different parks, different stadiums, and their league had just gone to 16 teams which meant you were only going to be playing each team twice.

I think I've played in every game when I've been fit so far, so it's always good when you're playing every week.

As you mentioned, Allan McGonigal is trying to play your chances down in the press, but do results like the win over Auchinleck give the players the belief that they could go on and do the double this year?

I think that's our aim. The manager's playing down the league because I think he's trying to focus us on the Scottish Cup, but when you're winning every week in the league it's hard not to look forward and imagine yourselves winning it.

I would love to pick up a league medal because I've never won a league before, especially since I lost out on goal difference two seasons ago with Shotts and then lost out on goal difference with Alloa.

To win both of them would be a dream come true.

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