BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
RYAN McGEEVER is no stranger to the soaring highs and crushing lows of the Scottish Cup – after recalling the devastation of his old Falkirk pals following their heartbreaking defeat in the final of 2015.
Now the Queen’s Park star is determined to embark on his own memorable journey in this season’s competition.
McGeever, 22, came through the youth ranks with the Bairns and remains firm friends with the likes of Blair Alston, Rory Loy and Will Vaulks, who starred during their run to the Hampden showpiece two years ago.
“That was a brilliant experience for the boys and I’m still good friends with a few of the lads that played,” said McGeever. “It was a great achievement for them to even reach the final and they had every right to be proud of themselves.
“You could tell that they felt hard done by with the way things worked out, the result put a dampener on the immediate aftermath.
“I wasn’t involved, as I had been out on loan, but we all went out after the final and I remember that mix of disappointment at the result and pride at what they had achieved.
Looking back, there is no doubt it will be up there among their best achievements – to get to a national final as a Championship club.
“Even just the build-up, with all the attention and the publicity, was something for the boys to enjoy and savour – and that is what can be there if you do manage to put together a run in this competition.”
The Scottish Cup provided a steep learning curve for McGeever, making just his third ever appearance as a senior player in the competition back in 2012, joking: “I marked a huge guy from Stenhousemuir and felt totally out of my depth!”
However, he is yet to be presented with a true glamour tie and would love to experience the thrill of a giant-killing this term.
Before entertaining that notion, however, the Spiders must navigate a testing tie against Championship Ayr United – a prospect that is far from outlandish given Queen’s Park have lost just one game since October, while the Honest Men last won a match in November.
McGeever continued: “I think every player in the lower league in Scotland is always looking for a big tie – that big occasion to test yourself against the best.
“Ayr are a well-supported club and we’ll give them plenty of respect, but both sides will be thinking that if they can get beyond this round then one of the biggest teams in Scotland could be waiting.
“I’ve never really had that big glamour tie so, although the league is always your main focus, that would be something to savour.