KAYNE PATERSON insists Calum Elliot has inspired Tranent Juniors stars with tales of his Hampden highs and lows.
And the free-scoring front-man is adamant The Belters are ready to create some stunning Scottish Cup memories of their own.
The Foresters Park outfit, managed by former Hearts attacker Elliot, have already made waves in their first ever experience of this competition, dispatching East Stirlingshire 4-1 in the first round.
That teed up Saturday’s visit to League One side East Fife – and Paterson says the top-level experience of gaffer Elliot has been vital in the build-up.
Indeed, Elliot – who took charge of Tranent last September – lifted the trophy with the Jambos in 2006, albeit he didn’t feature in the final against Gretna. A fact he still remembers to this day.
Paterson laughed: “Calum has told all the boys about he played in the [2005/06] semi-final against Hibs – only to get dropped in the final against Gretna!
“But to have even lifted that trophy says it all, Calum has been there and done it in this competition.
“His knowledge of the game is first class and he’s been telling us what to expect against a team from East Fife’s level, how to approach it and how to conduct ourselves.
“He’s been brilliant since coming in and, especially as a striker, I feel like I’ve learned a lot from him already. He is full of wee tips, has brilliants drills and he is always ready to do a bit of extra work on finishing and shooting.”
Although he is thriving under the watchful eye of an ex-Hearts ace – notching 18 goals in 14 games so far this term – Paterson admits his dream tie, should they stun East Fife at New Bayview today, would be a trip to Easter Road.
He continued: “I’m a Hibs fan, so the dream would be getting through and facing Hibs at Easter Road.
“With their training centre being just down the road, we sometimes play them in a pre-season friendly.
“The last time was when Neil Lennon was in charge, and we’ve gone up against boys like Ryan Porteous and Josh Doig – so it’s always a decent test. But playing them in a competitive match would be something else!”
Regardless of the result, Paterson is adamant Tranent’s maiden Scottish Cup adventure is a fitting reward for the progress made by the club since he first arrived from Haddington in 2015.
But they are not heading to Methil to simply enjoy the day.
He added: “This club is night and day compared to when I joined. The work the committee has done building the infrastructure and improving things behind the scenes is incredible.
“Getting our licence and being able to play in the Scottish Cup was always the next step for us, so to get a crack at league opposition will be really special.
“Of course it’s going to be hard and we are massive underdogs but it’s a great chance to test ourselves against one of the bigger sides and see how we measure up. Far stranger things have happened.”