Murphy hopes third time’s the charm at Albert Park

At the beginning of last week Davie Halfpenny was the manager of Hawick Royal Albert, writes John Slorance.

By the end of the week Halfpenny had not only left his post but had been replaced.

For in a remarkable few days Halfpenny quit the Hawick managerial hot seat and a new boss – former Albert, Selkirk and Coldstream coach Mick Murphy was introduced.

Yes, it all happened as quickly as that.

Talking of his resignation, Halfpenny, who was in his second season in charge of Hawick during which the Albert Park club had won one game, said: “I have given the Albert manager’s job my best shot and have tried hard.

“There have been problems, though, mainly trying to attract players to play for the club, so I think it is time for a change and have stepped down.

“I would like to wish the new manager all the best and thank all the players that have been at the club with me.”

Set to have his third stint down Albert Park way, Murphy will be in charge of the Royalists for their home game against Ormiston on Saturday.

The arrival of Murphy filters in with other changes that have been sweeping through Hawick’s senior football club.

For, of late, the Albert committee has grown from a handful into double figures.

Murphy told TheSouthern: “I know I have taken on a tough job in being the Albert manager. The new committee is trying really hard upstairs, and I would like to give it a go and get things working again downstairs.

“It will be a case of having to bite the bullet to begin with, but new players will be brought in. There are a lot of good boys in Hawick and in the Borders who could do a great job for the Albert and I will be trying hard to get these guys.

“Davie Aitkin will remain club coach, but I have brought in Stuart Sharkey as my assistant. Stuart is an ex-Albert player and he will be a good man to have back at the club again.”

Talking of his side’s match this weekend, Murphy told us: “I don’t know anything about Ormiston. My only concern for Saturday is the Albert. Hopefully I will have new faces in the side, and it would be great to start off with a win.”

Off the boil at the moment, Kelso United have a formidable task on their hands, travelling to face Gretna 2008.

Commenting on his side’s King Cup clash with Eyemouth United at Whitestone Park, Peebles Rovers manager Stuart Robertson said: “We are on a good winning run and I hope this continues. Our defence has really tightened up and this has made a big difference to our all-round performance.”

Rovers are without John McNamara but hope to have Nicky Cairns back from injury.

In another King Cup encounter Vale of Leithen take on Easthouses Lily away from home, while Selkirk have Jason Inglis back for their Image Printers semi-final encounter with Spartans in Edinburgh.

Gala Fairydean have a free week.