Captain James McShane is daring to dream as Strathspey Thistle attempt to reach their first cup final since joining the Breedon Highland League.
Rothes are the opponents at Seafield Park tonight in the semi-final of the North of Scotland Cup.
Since being elected to the Highland League in 2009 the Grantown Jags have never reached a final – now Charlie Brown’s side are just 90 minutes away.
Skipper McShane expects a difficult encounter against Rothes, who are unbeaten so far this term, but says reaching a final would a big step forward for Strathspey.
The 27-year-old midfielder said: “It would be massive to get to a cup final and it would be a big step forward for the club to reach that first cup final.
“It’s a one-off game so who knows what happens, but it will be a tough game because they’re a quality side.
“If we turn up and Rothes have a bit of an off night we could go through and that’s the beauty of cup final.
It would be massive to get to a cup final.” James McShane
“We’re up for the challenge and if we could do the business it would be a great boost for the club and for the players.
“Since day one when the club came into the league we knew it would be a slow process.
“There’s been ups and downs and bumps in the road along the way.
“Of the three clubs that came into the league in 2009 (Formartine United and Turriff United were the others) we didn’t have the financial backers that the other two had so everything had to built up slowly.
“But over the last two or three seasons we’ve made progress and have become more consistent and picked up more results.
“The signs of improvement have been there and if we could get to the final it would be another step forward for the club.”
Rothes aiming for more trophies
Last year Rothes won silverware for the first time since 1979 when they claimed the Highland League Cup.
Goalkeeper Sean McCarthy says the Speysiders are determined to have more success after ending the long wait to take a trophy back to Mackessack Park.
The 28-year-old said: “It will be a tough game. Strathspey will be happy to be in the semi-final, as we are, both teams have got nothing to lose really.
“Winning the Highland League Cup has whetted everyone’s appetite.
“That was the message at the club shortly afterwards we wanted more success, we didn’t want to just be happy with winning one cup.
“You could see what it meant to everyone connected with the club when we won the Highland League Cup.
“We’ve had that taste of success and we want to experience it again.”
In the bid to challenge for more silverware Rothes manager Ross Jack was able to strengthen his squad with a number of new recruits this summer.
McCarthy added: “The club is ambitious and they’ve strengthened the squad again and brought in some new faces.
“It’s good to be bringing these guys in and it’s good for the guys that are already here because you know you need to do well to keep your place in the side.”
- The other North of Scotland Cup semi-final between Brora Rangers and Lossiemouth has been postponed following positive Covid-19 tests in the Cattachs’ camp.