BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Hibernian’s Scottish Cup triumph capped the one the best weeks of Ross Allum’s life, however the Edinburgh City talisman is desperate to spoil the party when his boyhood heroes come to show off the Holy Grail at Meadowbank.
Allum, 27, was at Hampden along with his Hibs-daft family on May 21 as the 114-year wait to lift the old trophy came to a dramatic end with a 3-2 win over Rangers.
The Hibees’ first match back in Edinburgh since finally putting the hoodoo to bed will see them make the short trip to face the Citizens on July 7 in a pre-season friendly which has become increasingly high-profile.
Not only will the Scottish Cup be paraded before kick-off, but it will be the first time Neil Lennon takes charge of his new side on Scottish soil. Such is the expected demand, the encounter has been made all-ticket and a sell-out is predicted.
Allum, who bagged 28 goals as City won promotion to the SPFL for the first time in their history last term, said: “I’ve not stopped going on about the Scottish Cup win since it happened.
“My whole family are massive Hibs fans so when I heard that our manager Gary [Jardine] was trying to get them to Meadowbank for a friendly that was really exciting.
“It was the best week I can remember – not that I can remember too much of it now! To win promotion to the SPFL for the first time in City’s history on May 14, then watching Hibs win the Scottish Cup on the 21st was just incredible.
“I never thought I would see the day that stand at Meadowbank was full – and for it to be against Hibs in Neil Lennon’s first game is brilliant.”
Although he would love to condemn Lennon to a chastening first outing in the capital as Hibs boss, Allum reckons the appointment is a master-stroke following the departure of Alan Stubbs.
He added: “As a fan I’m delighted. What he achieved with Celtic was great and, although some might disagree, I think he’ll have a bit of a budget at Hibs and do a really good job.
“I brings a winning mentality to the club and I think he has already said a few things that have been really impressive.
“I’ve had a few run-ins with managers in the Lowland League but I’ll be staying away from Neil Lennon – he doesn’t look like a man to be messed with, which is what you want from a manager.”
Allum’s chance to get up close to the Scottish Cup will be a long time coming – after missing Hibs’ open-top bus parade through the city on the following day due to playing in the South Challenge Cup final.
It was an afternoon to forget as he limped off injured after eight minutes and City lost to Whitehall Welfare on penalties.
He continued: “I wish I’d never played in that game now because I pulled my hamstring . . . a few of the boys were convinced it was deliberate!
“So it will be amazing to play Hibs and hopefully get a few photos of the trophy that I missed.”
Speaking as Edinburgh City promoted their season tickets, which are the cheapest in the SPFL this season, Allum revealed that he snubbed options in League 1 to continue the journey with City next term.
Ahead of their historic first ever campaign in league football, he said: “You always get told to go with your gut and, although I spoke to three or four clubs, I never felt like leaving was the right decision.
“There was an opportunity to go training with a team in League 1, which was a tough thing to knock back, but I’m happy here and I know what the club is about and what we are trying to achieve.
There was money kicking about that I’ve not really experienced but it wasn’t the most important thing for me. I’m 27 now and I need to play as much football as I can in my peak years and I know I will do that at Edinburgh City.
“The two years since I joined have all been geared up towards promotion – so to leave after getting that promotion didn’t feel right. To get promoted with City was everything.”