Banks o’ Dee co-manager Jamie Watt reckons experience gained in defeat can make the difference for his side in the 125th Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup final.
The Junior side take on Formartine United in the showpiece at Inverurie’s Harlaw Park.
In the last five seasons Dee have lost in an Aberdeenshire Cup final and three Aberdeenshire Shield finals.
Watt, who is joint-boss along with Roy McBain, said: “It’s the experience and confidence you pick up, it’s what you take from adversity.
“In a couple we let ourselves down and in a couple we’ve been up against a really strong Cove team and you hold your hands up.
“Two of the finals we’ve lost we haven’t turned up on the night so you take those experiences and hope that you learn from them.
“I’ve certainly learned from them and hopefully we can put that right this time.
“When the competition comes up, it’s always a chance to test ourselves and they can be games we sometimes don’t quite get at our level.
“It’s where we want to be as a team, pushing ourselves and playing these big games.
“When I first came in we were never in it to win it – but now we’re in it to win it.”
United have ample motivation
Formartine manager Paul Lawson says his players should be motivated to avenge defeat in the last two Shire Cup finals.
Their most recent defeat is still fresh in the memory given that last season’s competition only concluded in July.
Lawson added: “It should be motivation and that should be within you yourself, it shouldn’t come to me to let the players know that.
“The last final is fresh in the minds and I’m sure that’s a motivation.
“I said after the Fraserburgh game not to forget that, because the following week we were starting this season’s competition.
“We wanted to use that and get back to the final – but ultimately you don’t want to be in a final to turn up – you’re in it to win it.”
Squad seeking first success
Lawson revamped his squad during the summer and for many of the players at North Lodge Park winning the Aberdeenshire Cup would be their first trophy with Formartine.
He said: “We’ve let ourselves down in a couple of games and we know that.
“People have maybe looked in the squad and thought it was a transitional year for us.
“But I still felt we had the quality in the squad to compete.
“Some of the experienced boys haven’t won anything with ourselves but have elsewhere, so the carrot is to do it at Formartine.
“We’ve got a couple of lads on loan from Aberdeen and it’s a great opportunity for them to win some silverware in their time here.
“For some of the younger lads it’s their first year in with the first-team and it’s a great chance.
“Then you have one or two of the boys who’ve been here since the first triumph under myself.
“There’s motivation for everyone and as a group we want to make sure we win something this year.”
Dee out to make history
Banks o’ Dee have never previously won the Aberdeenshire Cup and Watt says breaking that duck would mean a great deal to the Spain Park club.
He added: “It would mean a lot to us to win. Having spent a lot of time in the Highland League I’m very aware of how prestigious a trophy it is and how hard it is to win it.
“In all my years playing, I think I only won it once with Deveronvale and once with Cove.
“It’s really tough to win and we’ve seen that with being in the final and not getting it done.
“The next step for us would be winning and it would be huge for us.
“We’re a Junior club, but we’ve got the respect of the Highland League teams and we’ve shown we belong in that sort of company.”