BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Mark Kerr has experienced a Scottish Cup final from the turf and the terrace, but the Falkirk stalwart fancies one more crack at the showpiece fixture.
The 33-year-old was cup-tied for the final last term after representing Queen of the South in an earlier round, watching helplessly as the brave Bairns succumbed to defeat against Inverness.
While he was initially “gutted” not to be involved, Kerr eventually found himself caught up in the crackling Hampden atmosphere as Peter Houston’s men narrowly lost out in a thrilling encounter.
The former Aberdeen and Dundee man has previously played in a Scottish Cup final, finding himself on the wrong end of a 1-0 defeat with Dundee United against Celtic in 2005.
He hopes this season could be third time lucky.
Kerr said: “It’s a massive game. With the run we had in the cup last year, we are looking for the same again.
“It was good to see what the boys achieved last year and how they played. I think they expected a great day in the final, but a lot of the boys found it exceeded those expectations.
“You obviously want to affect the game and be part of it but, in a strange way, I was actually enjoying being a supporter.
“The lads were brilliant and I really thought they were going to do it. I got caught up in the occasion and it wasn’t a case of ‘I’m not playing’, it was just about cheering the boys on.
“I’d love to get back there. I’m not getting any younger so I would like another crack at a final.“
Highland League minnows Fraserburgh will provide an unknown quantity for Kerr and co. at the Falkirk Stadium today but, having navigated a tie against Brora Rangers last season, he reckons he has a fair idea what to expect.
Kerr continued: “It will be a test. I played against Brora for Queens last year and they really came at us, they had a real go and didn’t just sit in.
“You are on a hiding to nothing in games like that, and there was a bit of pressure because a lot of people were picking that game out as the potential shock of the round, with Brora doing so well in the Highland League.
“Fraserburgh are a different proposition but I can guarantee they won’t be coming down here to make things easy for us. It will be physical, high-energy and they will be out to give us a test.”
Falkirk, despite a fine season in the Championship, have already been on the end of one shock this season after crashing out of the Petrofac Training Cup with a 5-3 defeat against Peterhead.
He recalled: “The Petrofac Cup is a cup some teams do not even entertain, but Saturday is a totally different ball game. The Scottish Cup is massive to us.
“It might not be the end of the world if we went out, but it would feel like the end of the world – especially if you go out to a team at that level.”