BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
John McGinn, the Hibernian midfielder, possesses a razor-sharp recollection of the day he lifted the League Cup. He may be unique among St Mirren’s class of ’13 in that regard.
The Buddies’ 3-2 win over Hearts famously sparked the mother of all pub crawls around Paisley – the players presumably not required to put their hands in their pockets once – with Steven Thompson declaring: “The plan is to drink until we can drink no more.”
Spare a thought, then, for McGinn. While his teammates diced with the devil drink, he had to keep his celebrations slightly more reserved – albeit, suffice to say a dram or two was taken.
“I saw the evidence from [the celebrations], I managed to avoid the worst of it,” he joked. “So I don’t quite have the same memories as the other boys!
“Believe it or not, the next day I was in Irvine meeting up with Scotland Under-19s. The drive to Irvine was interesting. Ricky Sbragia was laughing, but I did a full session somehow that day, somehow.”
While happy to recall the lighter side of St Mirren’s triumph under Danny Lennon, McGinn is deadly serious when he insists that achievement has only made him more hungry to repeat the feat.
Hibs face St Johnstone this afternoon at the home of their fierce rivals, Hearts, and the young playmaker – an integral part of Alan Stubbs’ side – is acutely aware of how close he is to another shot at glory at Hampden.
“I keep getting reminded of that cup win. I remember at the time a lot of the old guard were telling me that it should make me hungry to go and get more medals,” he recalled. “It absolutely has.
“The open-top bus was something I remember and, at the time, I said: ‘I want to do this again.’ It was brilliant.
“I can only imagine what something like that would be like in Edinburgh. But we are only looking forward to St Johnstone, we can’t look too far ahead.”
With Hibs still in the hunt for a remarkable treble, McGinn will walk out at a sold-out Tynecastle this afternoon firmly in the belief that his decision to join a Championship club last summer has been vindicated.
He added: “I knew when I arrived there was only one way the club was going, the moves that were getting made off the pitch.
“That’s what Alan Stubbs said to me when I came in and spoke to him and it was something I wanted to be involved in.
“He made it clear we were going to have a go to win trophies and be successful that’s what every player wants. I’m delighted I came here and I am really enjoying it.”