BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
BUCKIE THISTLE boss Graeme Stewart knows his side will be rank outsiders when Dunfermline visit Victoria Park in the Scottish Cup – but he is still guaranteed to get his hands on the trophy.
The SFA have deemed Saturday’s clash in scenic Moray as the pick of the third-round fixtures as the Pars make the 350-mile round-trip to face the Highland League leaders.
Foam fingers, mascot outfits and the trophy itself have been provided, adding to the sense of occasion around the town as they seek to spring an almighty shock against Allan Johnston’s men.
Stewart said: “The trophy will be at the match and the SFA have been really good about building the excitement around the tie.
“They’ve given us foam fingers, mascot suits and the works – it’s just a pity it will be absolutely freezing for those who come out to enjoy it!
“We’ll look to get as many families and kids along to it and make it a real afternoon to remember. It is a massive game for us and one for everyone associated with the club to enjoy.
“It will be a great atmosphere. Our fans are good, we get average gates of about double anywhere else in the Highland League so it should be electric.”
Stewart is no stranger to a Scottish Cup fairytale, having been part of the Inverness Caledonian Thistle squad that stunned Celtic 1-0 on their way to a narrow Hampden semi-final defeat against Dundee in 2003.
He continued: “I’ve been involved in a semi-final against Dundee and, together with my assistant Lewis MacKinnon, we were at Inverness when we beat Celtic twice.
“We’ve been trying to instill that mentality into the boys. These ties galvanise a squad, create a feel-good factor and before you know it you have achieved something special.”