BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Stranraer goalkeeper David McGurn has revealed he found out about his side’s glamour draw with Celtic thanks to one of his Hoops-daft students breaching a classroom ban on mobile phones.
The 35-year-old is a lecturer in Sports Science at Cardonald College by trade and he was midway through a tutorial yesterday when news of the lucrative tie filtered through – via the fan’s sneaky smartphone.
McGurn told Capital City Press: “I actually found out from one of the students in the class. He said ‘congratulations’ and I said ‘what are you talking about?’ He told me that Stranraer had got Celtic.
“My first reaction was ‘how do you know? You’re not supposed to have your phone out!’
“I’ll let him away with it this time, since he was giving me good news! He’s a Celtic fan – we have a good mix of Celtic and Rangers fans in the class – so he’ll be hoping I get hammered.
“It’s an absolutely brilliant draw for us. You either want a very winnable home tie or you want Celtic at home. We’ve been lucky enough to get the latter. The boys have already been texting each other and it’s superb for the club.
“Hopefully we can make a bit of money, get some coverage from the tie and, ultimately, we’ll give it our best to get a result.”
McGurn is targeting a remarkable Old Firm double after a fine Scottish Cup campaign last season, which ended with a narrow 1-0 defeat against the eventual winners Inverness at the quarter final stage.
He was between the sticks for Raith Rovers when they produced one of the shocks of the fifth round by claiming a 2-1 victory over Rangers at Ibrox.
He recalls how the Fifers were written off ahead of the tie, having been beaten 4-0 and 6-1 by the Gers earlier in the campaign – however, goals from Ryan Conroy and Christian Nade were enough to send Grant Murray’s men through.
Now on loan at Stranraer, McGurn knows that result will pale into insignificance if the League One side can somehow find a way past the Premiership champions.
The Rovers Hall of Famer said: “Going to Ibrox, no-one gave us a chance but we dug in, we worked hard and we beat them.
“Especially in a cup game, down at Stranraer, absolutely anything can happen this time round. A lot of teams don’t enjoy coming down to Stair Park and, although I’m sure they are professional, hopefully we can make it a difficult place to come for Celtic.
“No-one will give us much of a chance but, knowing the boys in that dressing room and the attitude we have, we’ll go out trying to win the game – even against Celtic.
“Make no mistake, we have a good team. We’ve had a scrappy start to the season, with a few disappointing results, but we are an experienced side with plenty of quality in there.
“Of course Celtic will be massive favourites, and rightly so. We’re not daft. But we won’t be there to make up the numbers.”