Deveronvale manager Craig Stewart is determined to lead the club into their first final in a decade.
The Banffers face Formartine United in the semi-finals of the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup at North Lodge Park tonight with Banks o’ Dee awaiting the winner.
Deveronvale haven’t played in a cup final since September 2011 when they defeated Keith 5-4 in one of the most entertaining Aberdeenshire Cup finals of all time.
Princess Royal Park boss Stewart is eager to end that wait to return to a showpiece occasion.
He said: “That’s where we want to be as a club – we want to be back competing in semi-finals, finals and winning trophies.
“It’s an early opportunity in my time as manager and for some of the players to try to get to that final and see what happens from there.
“The boys are up for it and it would mean a lot to the club and the supporters to get to a final again.
“It’s been a few years since the club has been in a final.
“That has to change at some point and if we can reach the heights we did on Saturday then I don’t think we’ll be too far away.”
Vale have confidence
Although they are without Robert Scott and Dane Ballard is a major doubt with a rib injury, Deveronvale are playing with confidence.
Having recovered from two goals down to earn draws against Huntly and Wick Academy recently they defeated Strathspey Thistle 3-0 on Saturday.
Stewart added: “I thought we were excellent in the first half against Strathspey.
“The confidence hasn’t been low in the squad. We came back from two down against Huntly and against Wick which I think breeds confidence as well.
“We went on from that on Saturday to win and confidence is high.
“We’re going into this game off the back of some decent results and that has given the boys a boost.
“I wouldn’t say we didn’t have that belief, but it’s nice to get a reminder.
“We kept a clean sheet and didn’t concede silly goals like earlier in the season.”
No room for sentiment for Formartine’s Rodger
Formartine midfielder Graeme Rodger played for Vale in their last final.
Although he looks back on it fondly, he is aiming to knock his old club out of the competition this evening.
Rodger, who switched to North Lodge Park in 2015, said: “I think I played right-back in that final. I had a lot of years at Deveronvale and enjoyed my time there.
“There’s only a few players left from my time; Grant Noble, Ross Aitken, Kevin Adams and James Blanchard would be about it.
“That was a very good side and we had some top Highland League players at that time like Mike McKenzie and Mark Chisholm.
“It was a great day and that was one of the best days in my career.
“But that’s in the past and there’s no room for sentiment in this game.
“We need to get back to basics after a tough spell and try to get a result to get into the final.”
Third straight final the target
Formartine have lost three of their last four games, but Rodger is hoping they can bounce back and reach the final of the Aberdeenshire Cup for the third successive season.
He said: “We haven’t made the start that we’d hoped for. We have had injuries, but we can’t blame that either.
“We’ve played a lot of sides that you expect to be near the top and we haven’t been good enough against them.
“This is a chance to get to a final and hopefully we make the most of it.
“We’ve got a good record in getting to finals and hopefully we can add to that.”