Reilly out to match his Gretna heroes . . .
WHEN Gavin Reilly signed for Hearts in the summer, his main goal was to win a trophy for the club – and this time he would at least enjoy such an occasion.
There are not too many who can claim they were Gretna supporters before the Brooks Mileson era, but the 22-year-old striker was one of them.
His faith in his team would be rewarded, temporarily at least, when the late Mileson ploughed his money into the club and helped them reach the 2006 Scottish Cup final.
Reilly was in the crowd as a starryeyed 13-year-old when little Gretna lost on penalties to his current team, Hearts, at Hampden nine years ago.
“I am from Gretna, so I went to games when I was young as a fan,” said Reilly who moved to Tynecastle from Queen of the South during the summer transfer window.
“It would be nice to get back to Hampden and play this time. It’s a long time ago now, but it was great for Gretna as a club to reach a Scottish Cup final. They were in the second division at the time and to take Hearts to penalties was incredible.
“I was 13 when I was at the final. There were no tears, but it was a wee bit emotional to take them all the way to penalties and to lose – it was anyone’s game when it went to penalties. They did the club proud, the community proud that season.
“I never thought Gretna would ever get to Hampden. The first game I watched them I think they were in the Northern Premier League and then got into the Scottish game. It never entered my head that they would reach Hampden.”
Reilly himself is only one game away from an appearance at Hampden. He will have the chance to grace the national stadium if Hearts can beat Celtic on their own patch in next month’s quarter-final.
“A cup run is good for any club,” he said. “The fans will be looking for a trip to Hampden. It gives this game spice and something to look forward to away from league duty. A cup would be great for the club, especially after winning the Championship last season. Some more silverware would be great.”
REILLY: ‘The fans will be looking for a trip to Hampden. It gives this game [at home to Celtic] spice’