BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
EDINBURGH CITY chairman Jim Brown concedes that their 500-mile round trip to Wales will leave the capital club out of pocket.
However, he is adamant the prospect of a ‘European’ adventure is priceless.
The Citizens face a host of logistical and financial challenges after the semi-final draw for the Irn-Bru Cup threw up an away tie against Connah’s Quay Nomads in February.
“A home draw would have been ideal for us, but this is a stage we never imaged we would reach so we’ll embrace the adventure,” said Brown.
“Since the teams came in from Ireland, Wales and England the supporters have been crying out for a trip away – and to do it in a semi-final is something for them to really look forward to.
“I’ve been following the conversations on Twitter and our fans have been very vocal about the fact this counts as a European tie! Who am I to argue?
“They never imagined they’d get a European trip with Edinburgh City, so we’ll enjoy the occasion.”
City will spare no expense in their bid to stun the Welsh Premier League outfit and reach their first ever cup final in the senior ranks, with Brown intending to green light an early departure and hotel accommodation for the players and staff.
“It will probably end up costing the club a bit of money but it is well worth it,” Brown continued. “We are determined to do things properly – go down the day before, put the guys up in a hotel and give them the best possible chance. It is a huge game for this club and we’ll treat it as such.”
Indeed, Brown admits he has been stunned by the progress made by City in James McDonaugh’s first full campaign as boss. As well as being 90 minutes away from a national cup final, they are riding high at the summit of League Two.
“It would be an unbelievable achievement to reach the final,” he added. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think that was possible.
“People look at us doing well in the league and think that we must have aspirations to win the division, but our aim was just to do better than last season. We just wanted safety as soon as possible. James [McDonaugh] and the players have exceeded all of our expectations.”