Reilly out to match his Gretna he­roes . . .

The Herald - Sport - - FOOTBALL - NEIL CAMERON

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’

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