Carl Tremarco has urged youngsters in Ross County’s North of Scotland Cup final side to grasp their opportunity to catch the eye.
Tremarco will be in charge of County’s side which takes on Nairn County in Sunday’s final at Grant Street Park.
The Staggies are competing in the tournament for the first time since they won it against Caley Thistle at the same venue in 2018.
The team will be made up of a number of Tremarco’s under-18s side, and he says securing silverware would be the perfect way to impress first team boss Malky Mackay in their efforts to secure a long-term future at Victoria Park.
Tremarco said: “It would be huge. I’m hoping it would be a huge shot in the arm and a big confidence boost going into their bread and butter at under-18s level.
“At the end of the day, they’re getting judged by the manager and the coaching staff on a Friday afternoon. Now they’ve got another chance to impress the manager.
“The manager might not see a lot of the boys, but they’re going to be there on Sunday and all it takes might be the manager to see one of them and say he likes that.
“Then they might get a two-year deal, and the rest will be history.
“They will sink or swim, and hopefully because they have played the earlier rounds they will be more comfortable around first team boys and they won’t get swallowed up by the occasion.”
Senior players will not be treated differently to youngsters
County have defeated Wick Academy, Golspie Sutherland and Brora Rangers on their way to the final.
Their team will once again include a number of first team players on the fringes of Mackay’s side.
Although Tremarco is still to receive confirmation of who he will have available – with County away to St Johnstone on Premiership duty tomorrow – the Englishman is keen for young players to find their voice among their senior team-mates.
He added: “I know for a fact that the first team boys don’t want to be playing at Clach on Sunday – they want to be on the park on Saturday – and that’s where the under-18s want to get to.
“When the senior boys do get involved, they make the young lads feel part of it – because they are part of it. They are on the same pitch, so they’re equals.
“There’s no reason why, if a first team boy gives a pass away, an under-18 can’t chirp at him.
“That’s what I want to see, because I know that the other way around the first team boys will be quick to have a pop at an under-18.
“On Sunday they will be one – it won’t be under-18s and first team boys, it will be one Ross County.”
Tremarco feels County have reaped many benefits from ending their five-year absence from the competition, with the 38-year-old keen to make it a regular occurrence in the years to come.
He added: “They have to learn from this, and the few games we’ve had have been brilliant.
“We haven’t been in this competition for a while, so hopefully going forward we will be back in, whether we win on Sunday or not, and whether we have first team boys or not.”