Standing on verge of history
Young Glens targeting Scottish Cup glory
Rutherglen Glencairn under 21s have won every honour that has came their way since they were formed seven years ago apart from the ultimate prize in youth football.
But on Sunday they have the chance to claim the SYFA Under 21 Scottish Cup and write their names into both the competition and the club’s history books.
Barrhead YFC are the only obstacle standing in their path to glory and if previous results are anything to go by, the Glens are going into Sunday’s cup final as slight favourites.
The teams have met four times already this season and the young Glens, who are also unbeaten in 20 matches, have held firm against the East Renfrewshire side.
They drew 3-3 in the Premier League back in August, 3-3 in the League Cup before losing out on penalties and defeated them in the reverse league fixture and a West of Scotland Cup tie later in the season.
But despite going on such an impressive run and also securing a place in the Golden Goals Cup Final on Friday, co-managers Andy McFadyen and Alex McArthur admit football is not won on paper.
“It’s not going to be easy,” Alex told the Reformer. “They’ve got skilful players, good players, they’re well coached and well run so we’re going to have to be at the top of our game on May 7 if we want to bring this cup back to Rutherglen.
“We’ve played them four times this season so we are not strangers to each other. In the games against them, I would say the two 3-3 draws were very tight. We were 3-1 up in both of them and lost stupid goals with 10 minutes to go.
“Then we beat them 5-1 in the West of Scotland Cup. To be fair Barrhead actually battered us in the first half and if it hadn’t been for our goalkeeper Chris Truesdale they could have been out of sight. However, the second half was a different game and we won.
“In January down here at Glasgow Green we out-powered them and beat them 3-0. It was a great performance and was the first game back after the New Year. The boys took 20 minutes or so to settle and really went to town and finished it off.”
The young Glens had a slow start to the season which has hampered their placing in the West of Scotland 21s Premier League.
They now sit in sixth place behind rivals and league leaders Tower Hearts who the Rutherglen side knocked out of the Scottish Cup semi final on their journey to Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium this weekend.
Managers Alex and Andy have been together in youth football for 12 years and joined the Glens from Blantyre Victoria in 2010.
We’re going to have to be at the top of our game on May 7 Alex McArthur
Since setting up the under 21 side, the pair have guided the club to a league title and also bagged the treble.
And it is not just the duo’s input
that has got the team to the Scottish Cup final. Coaches Jamie McGall, Chris Divers, George McKendrick and Robert Fraser have all been pivotal in helping the talent grow at the club.
But there is one cup Alex nor Andy have managed to place in the Glencairn trophy cabinet and the chance to make that dream come true is exciting for everyone involved with the club, according to Alex.
“There has been a buzz about the place since the semi-final,” he said.
“There is a determination there, especially from the seven guys who are leaving us next year.
“We are quietly confident that they can do it and finish what we’ve started.”
Scottish Cup finalistsRutherglen Glencairn under 21s
Preparation The Glencairn players put in the hard graft at training
Tried and testedGlencairn and Barrhead have met four times already this season
Heads above the rest The Glens are on a remarkable unbeaten run in all competitions