Scottish Daily Mail

Walker look­ing to make up for lost op­por­tu­ni­ties

- By ALAN DOU­GLAS

JAMIE WALKER as­sumed cup fi­nals would be an an­nual oc­cur­rence when he lined up for the League Cup show­piece against St Mir­ren in 2013. Lit­tle did he know it would be seven years be­fore he would next be head­ing to Ham­p­den to bat­tle for sil­ver­ware. So the Hearts play­maker has no in­ten­tion of pass­ing up the op­por­tu­nity for an­other mem­o­rable cup run when the Tynecas­tle side travel to Al­loa for a place in the Bet­fred Cup quar­ter-fi­nals. The Gorgie out­fit have not won this com­pe­ti­tion since 1962 and a fresh-faced Walker was just 19 when the club last came close to smash­ing that hoodoo. He played 64 min­utes as

Hearts suc­cumbed to a galling 3-2 de­feat against the Bud­dies, with goals from Isma Gon­calves, Steven Thomp­son and Conor New­ton ren­der­ing Ryan Steven­son’s brace a mere con­so­la­tion. The de­feat still haunts Walker — who will line up against Celtic in next month’s Scot­tish Cup fi­nal — even if he con­vinced him­self he would have plenty of chances to make amends. He re­called: ‘When that fi­nal came along, I was dis­ap­pointed we lost but you think you’ll get an­other op­por­tu­nity — and that it’ll come quite quickly. ‘I’ve had to wait more than seven years to get an­other chance at a fi­nal. I’ve re­alised they don’t come around of­ten. ‘Dur­ing my ca­reer, I haven’t had many regrets, but los­ing that game against St Mir­ren is prob­a­bly the big­gest. ‘Does it feel like one that got away? I’d say so. Af­ter St Mir­ren beat Celtic in the semi-fi­nal, we were prob­a­bly favourites and we fan­cied our­selves. We ac­tu­ally started pretty well but it ended up be­ing such a dis­ap­point­ing day.’

 ??  ?? Per­sonal goal: Walker
Per­sonal goal: Walker

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