BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Whitehill Welfare manager Grant Carnie admits his side have been handed the worst possible Scottish Cup draw after landing a 530-mile round trip to Wick Academy.
The Lowland League outfit, based in Edinburgh, are steeling themselves for an 11-hour journey to Harmsworth Park – the longest of any tie pulled out of the hat at Hampden yesterday.
While Cairney cannot wait to begin Whitehill’s cup adventure, he acknowledges the encounter against Britain’s most northernly club provides a travel nightmare.
Carnie told Capital City Press: “It’s definitely not the draw we wanted. Logistically it’s probably the worst one we could have got.
“At this time of the year, there always seem to a be a team who are handed a massive trip, unfortunately this year it was us. It will be a real test, on and off the pitch.
“However, we just need to deal with what we are given. It’s not going to dampen our enthusiasm for the Scottish Cup and we are buzzing to get the campaign under way.”
Despite the challenge posed by the trip, Cairney is hopeful his side can return south with the victory as they seek to emulate Spartans Scottish Cup heroics of recent years.
He added: “We have a brand new team and a lot of boys that have never played in the Scottish Cup so we can’t wait to experience it.
“We are desperate to do well and get a wee run in the competition, that is always the dream when you are a lad – something like Spartans last year, getting within one game of playing Hibs at Easter Road.”
Full draw: Banks O’Dee v Cove Rangers, BSC Glasgow v Auchinleck Talbot, Strathspey Thistle v Edinburgh University, Lothian Thistle / Girvan v Kelty Hearts, Preston Athletic v Fort William, Lossiemouth v Forres Mechanics, Keith v Inverurie Loco Works, Spartans v Coldstream, Hawick Royal Albert v Huntly, Deveronvale v Clachnacuddin, Threave Rovers v University of Stirling, Gala Fairydean Rovers v Linlithgow Rose, Cumbernauld Colts v Glasgow University, Nairn County v Selkirk, Buckie Thistle v Rothes, Fraserburgh v Dalbeattie Star, Wick Academy v Whitehill Welfare, Formartine United v Gretna 2008