Formartine United midfielder Graeme Rodger is determined to make his first appearance in the Breedon Highland League Cup final a memorable one with a win against Cove at Bellslea Park in Fraserburgh today.
The 25-year-old reckons today’s match is the perfect chance to make amends for what he believes has been a poor campaign for the Pitmedden club and said: “This is my first League Cup final and I’m really looking forward to the chance for us to finish the season with a flourish.
“After what we feel has been a poor league campaign we have the opportunity to turn it into a good season with a piece of silverware. Cove have had a bit of an Indian sign over us in recent times but we did beat them 4-2 on penalties at North Lodge Park the last time we met them in the first round of the Aberdeenshire Shield at the end of October. We also drew them at our place earlier in the season so hopefully that is a good omen for us.”
The former Deveronvale player is delighted Bellslea has been chosen as the final venue, and added: “It’s great as the supporters are right on top of the action. We were up there last Saturday and the pitch was pretty dry and bobbly so I’m not sure that will make for the prettiest of games and it could certainly be a struggle.
“We beat the Broch 1-0 last Saturday, not many teams have won at Bellslea this season which should help us.”
Cove’s former United attacker Daniel Park hopes to get his hands on the Morganti Cup, as the trophy was originally known and said: “I was in the Cove side which beat Wick Academy 4-0 at Grant Street in Inverness two years ago but I think it’s going to be a tougher game this time around.”
The Westhill-based engineer added: “To get to the League Cup final and still be in there with a chance of winning the title having had to play all our games away from home for the second season running is some achievement.
“We are expecting a really tight game and Formartine will be equally keen to win it as they haven’t won a trophy for a few years now. I was in the United team which beat Inverurie Locos 3-2 in the 2013 Aberdeenshire Cup final, also at Bellslea.
“if we were able to do the League and League Cup double it would be an even greater achievement.”
Park is equally pleased with the final venue, and added: “We have a pretty good record against Formartine.
“But this is a cup final, they have good players who have been pushing for the league title all season, so it will definitely be a very tough game at a ground where there should be a great atmosphere.”
Cove will be without attacker Mitch Megginson and full back Harry Milne, both of who are suspended, and it would be no surprise if former Aberdeen and Keith centre forward Jonny Smith, who has been out for several weeks, was to feature at some point.