TRANENT Juniors co-manager Darren Smith insists he has “unfinished business” at Foresters Park after turning down a move to Bonnyrigg Rose.

Smith was approached by new Rose boss David White to move to New Dundas Park as his assistant manager, after White replaced Robbie Horn in the dugout for the junior giants last week.

The Belters allowed Smith, who joined from Musselburgh Athletic in 2015, permission to speak to Rose officials, and he agreed a deal early last week, only to change his mind.

And the 37-year-old told Courier Sport his reasons for his change of heart.

He said: “I’ve known Davie [White] for a long time – he’s a friend of mine and we played together at Brechin and East Fife.

“We agreed that going from a number one, or joint number one as I am with [co-manager] Kenny [Rafferty] to being his number two maybe wasn’t the right move.

“It just wasn’t the right time.

“It wasn’t an awkward conversation [with White] because we’ve known each other for years.”

The veteran midfielder admitted it was a tough decision, adding: “You don’t get many bigger clubs in the junior game.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but Tranent have been good to me and I feel like I’ve got unfinished business to do here still.”

Smith added that if he had joined Bonnyrigg it would have been “with a heavy heart” after being given his first managerial role by the Belters when Gary Small departed last season.

Smith and Rafferty helped Tranent to an excellent finish last season, including winning two cups.

Smith was, though, clear about his own ambitions, saying: “I’ve spent the majority of my career playing in the seniors and I would like to go back there as a coach.

“If I could get in somewhere as a number two or as a coach, then work my way up, that is my aim.

“Everyone wants to push themselves to the highest level they can.”

A spokesman for Tranent Juniors told Courier Sport: “The club reluctantly allowed Darren permission to talk to Bonnyrigg Rose.

“A discussion took place but he has changed his mind and decided to stay with us.”

The spokesman also acknowledged that it was a tough decision for Smith to turn down the East Superleague outfit. He added: “When clubs come calling it can be quite difficult for managers in other leagues to turn them down but, from our point of view, we are glad Darren is staying with us.”