William Hill Scottish Cup Final
Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Falkirk
Saturday 30th May, 3pm kick-off
Hampden Park, Glasgow
The managers are busy in preparation mode, the players are training hard and for the fans of Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Falkirk - it’s a waiting game.
We talked to two Scottish Cup Final supporters on their hopes, thoughts and fears ahead of Saturday's game...
Grant Pringle – Inverness Caledonian Thistle fan
Graeme Shinnie and Greg Tansey are going to be the two key players for ICT on the day I think, with Shinnie bombing up and down the wing and Tansey controlling the middle of the park. Both of those guys have a lot of assists throughout the season and are two of our most crucial players when it comes to controlling a game.
I always see ICT as a 4-2-3-1 kind of team that can change a lot throughout the course of a match. Playing with that formation, the back 7, including the goalkeeper, more or less picks itself. With Ryan Esson playing behind Raven, Meekings, Devine and Shinnie with Greg Tansey and Ross Draper acting as the base of the midfield. Then I think it'll be Williams on the left, Watkins on the right and Christie just tucked in behind Ofere who'll play as the lone striker.
The fact Falkirk are going in as underdogs worries me the most. It's a tag that's suited ourselves for years and it's probably what got us through that tie with Celtic. There doesn't seem to be a feeling of overconfidence in the ICT camp, with neither players or fans getting cocky ahead of the day and I think that'll help us. Falkirk, I feel, maybe have less to lose going into the game as underdogs often do which could allow them to be play with a bit more freedom going into the game.
What it would mean….
It would mean so, so much to the club and the city in general. As we are still a very young club, we don't have a very large fanbase and success would hopefully be a catalyst to get more folk interested in going, and at the same time, grab the attention of a lot more kids who maybe haven't chosen who they want to support yet. But for the club, it would just wrap up what has been the most incredible season and everybody working at the club in either a playing or non-playing capacity fully deserves the success for their efforts.
First thing you’ll do if Inverness win?
The first thing I'd do is probably bawl my eyes out for just the second time at a football game, the first being when we were relegated to the First Division when I was 14. It's probably the first thing I'd do if we lost too however! Then it would be just taking it all in with my pals who've supported ICT with me since we were in Primary School before celebrating long into the night back in the Highlands.
Karen Taylor – Falkirk fan
The player that has shone this season is Craig Sibbald. A local lad and life long Bairn he knows more than anyone what this means to the town, the club and the supporters. Photographs have popped up of him at the final in 2009. Now he's living the dream having scored the winner in the quarter and semi final to get us there again. Would that 14 year old have believed he would go on to do this? Despite his age, he has over 100 games under his belt and has gained in confidence each season. He has a good eye for goal and a habit for scoring in big games.
The team has been fairly settled this season. We have missed Rory Loy the last couple of months through injury although things are looking promising with him having played in bounce games since the league campaign finished. I'd imagine the starting line up will be similar if not the same as the semi final. Rory Loy may start if deemed fit. Both teams like to get the ball down and play so it should be a good football match.
Graeme Shinnie has been their stand out this season. He loves to get forward and has an eye for goal. This is his last game for ICT before moving to Aberdeen so he will want to go out on a high. Billy McKay was a loss to ICT in January but his replacements Watkins and Ofere have stepped up and will need to be watched. Yogi's teams are very strong on teamwork and have a never-say-die attitude but we will match this.
What it would mean...
This is my third Scottish Cup Final. The last two resulting in heartache. In 1997, the cup run pulled the club back from the brink and the revenue helped to keep us in business. The whole town got behind the team and we took 22,000 fans to Ibrox. This year the buzz in the town is unbelievable. The number of messages from previous players from David Weir to Dani Mallo to Tim Krul has shown that "once a Bairn, always a Bairn" certainly rings true. The entire community has pulled together and everyone is behind the team.
First thing you’ll do if Falkirk win….
Probably burst into tears and hug my Dad!! The party will well and truly be started! My Dad was a youngster at the final in 1957. He taught me at a young age to recite Slater, Parker, Rae, Wright, Irvine, Prentice, Murray, Grierson, Merchant, Moran, O'Hara, the 1957 cup winning team. They are all Falkirk legends. These boys have the opportunity to write themselves into Falkirk's history books and have the next generation reciting their names. Tommy Murray, who wore the number 7 shirt in 1957 passed on this advice to the squad "Have no fear at all. Believe you are going to win and it will happen". That's exactly what we'll do.
Watch history unfold at Hampden. Tickets for the neutral section at Hampden Park are still available at £5 for concessions and £25 for adults.
NEUTRAL TICKETS ON SALE NOW