Tom Walsh suffered IRN-BRU Cup final heartache with Dumbarton at the hands of Caley Thistle last season, however the midfielder is now intent on being part of a Highlanders side that retains the trophy this season.
Former Rangers player Walsh made the switch to Inverness in the summer after spending last year with the part-time Sons, who were eventually relegated to League 1 through the play-offs.
During his stint he helped Dumbarton reach their first national final in 121 years when they faced John Robertson’s men at McDiarmid Park in March, with Carl Tremarco’s stoppage time winner securing the trophy for Caley Jags.
Walsh insists he reflects fondly on last year’s experience despite the outcome, with Inverness starting their defence of the competition when they host Championship rivals Dunfermline tonight.
The 22-year-old said: “It was disappointing, but it was a great achievement for Dumbarton to get to the final. It was a killer blow on the day, as Inverness got the last-minute goal.
“Cup finals are always massive. It was a big day out for the club, and you saw the crowd both teams took – it was a massive day for the fans.
“That was a great achievement for Dumbarton but I’m at Inverness now so we’re looking to retain it.”
Robertson and Pars counterpart Allan Johnston have both confirmed they will make several changes for tonight’s Caledonian Stadium encounter, however Walsh insists his side will not be taking the match lightly, adding: “Dunfermline have got a good squad although I don’t know what kind of squad they might bring up, they might rest a few.
“We want to win every game so we will go into it with that attitude. We are the holders, so we want to retain the cup and try to win every game, because momentum is important.
“If we get a win, we will have a wee break and then go into the Alloa game with confidence.”
Walsh was part of a Caley Jags side that drew 0-0 against 10-man Ayr United on Saturday, with midfielder Liam Polworth missing a first half penalty. Despite the missed opportunity, Walsh refused to be downbeat, adding: “We didn’t play the way we can, which was frustrating. We just didn’t have that final pass or shot to break them through.
“The disappointing thing was we didn’t have enough efforts on goal, and the ones we did, we didn’t really hit the target with.
“Fair play to Ayr, they’re a good team and had chances as well. They probably felt they could have nicked it.
“The positive is another clean sheet and we can take that forward.”