Stand­ing on verge of his­tory

Young Glens tar­get­ing Scot­tish Cup glory

Rutherglen Reformer - - U21s Cup Final Preview - Mur­ray Spooner

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.”

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Scot­tish Cup fi­nal­ist­sRuther­glen Glen­cairn un­der 21s

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Prepa­ra­tion The Glen­cairn play­ers put in the hard graft at train­ing

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Tried and test­edG­len­cairn and Bar­rhead have met four times al­ready this sea­son

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Heads above the rest The Glens are on a re­mark­able un­beaten run in all com­pe­ti­tions

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