The new year may have only arrived recently but Bo’ness United boss Allan McGonigal is already looking ahead to next season.
United’s recent defeat by Kelty Hearts ended any faint Superleague title hopes and the BUs were knocked out of the Scottish Junior Cup by a Blantyre Vics side who face Linlithgow Rose in this weekend’s fourth round.
Bo’ness do still have the East of Scotland Cup to defend and are still in the Fife & Lothians Cup.
But McGonigal admitted that, starting with Saturday’s visit to Lochee United, he plans to use his side’s remaining league fixtures to blood some of his younger players.
The Bo’ness boss freshened up his squad this week by bringing in former Queen’s Park keeper Andy Murphy and signing young striker Connor Scullion on loan from Hamilton Accies until the end of the season.
McGonigal said: “I liked the look of Andy when he was at Faulhouse Juniors but he then went senior with Queen’s Park.
“For whatever reason it didn’t work out but we’re delighted to have him with us at the moment.
“Lochee is a place we have not done too well in the last few seasons. I always say you have to score three goals up there to get a draw.
“We’re going to start playing a lot of the young boys, the boys that have been on the bench and on the fringes just to see where they go.
“Finishing second or third really means nothing to us if you can’t win it. Kelty have already won the league as far as I’m concerned and anyone who can go undefeated to this time of the year deserves to win the league.
“We’re going to be playing a lot of the young boys just to see how they fit in. You need to give them eight, nine, ten games to see if they are going to be up to speed and up to the standards we require.
“We will be focussing on the cups, although we have Linlithgow in one and Bonnyrigg in the other.
“We just have to gather strength and kick on and hopefully bring a cup as we did last season.”