Ahead of Albion Rovers Under 19’s Scottish Cup Final on Sunday, we caught up with coach Gerry Archibald and striker Ryan McManus about how the preparations have been so far.
McManus, who has been a vital cog in the Rovers attack this season, declared his excitement for the show-piece Final: “Well first of all, I’m really excited. These are the kind of games you play football for and every player wants to win trophies.”
He added: “I am however a little bit nervous too though, but that’s only natural, given how big a game it is for me and all the boys.
Coach Archibald also stated similar feeling to Ryan McManus, however, his sides form in the Cup this season has given him real confidence that the young Rovers can pick up the prestigious silverware.
“This season has been a strange one”, Gerry commented.
“Our league performances have been disappointing and our current league position doesn’t reflect our performances in the cup competitions. On league duty we have drawn a number of games that we should have won easily, but in cup competitions we have faced some very good sides and blown them away and it’s hard to explain why. Over-all though I think it’s been a very successful season so far, we are obviously in the Scottish cup final, we have a Quarter Final tie against Weirs in the League Cup and more importantly we have seen the boys develop over the season.
“A number of the boys have featured as trialist for the first team, most of them have taken been invited to take part in the first team training sessions and of course we have seen Paul Archibald make the step up to the first team, signing his first professional contract. For myself, John and Alan as coaches this is ultimately where we get the satisfaction, knowing that we have played a part in getting the boys onto the first rung of hopefully a long and prosperous career in football.”
With the game being played on the 3G pitch of Airdrieonians Excelsior Stadium, McManus feels as though that will suit his teams style of play when it comes to passing the ball about.
“It’ll be brilliant to play at the Excelsior Stadium. The park is in a really good condition so it allows us to get the ball down and play the football we all want to play.”
With this game potentially being one of the biggest games in these young players career thus far, Archibald explained just how important it is for them to keep their heads going into the big game.
“This week the talk at training has been about that one final push, we know how good they are and as long as each of them pull together as a team on the day they should be fine. As I said previously it’s all about the boys going out and enjoying the occasion, Scottish Cup Final day is unlike any other game they will play in and for some they might never get to that stage again, so first and foremost go out and enjoy it and let their ability take care of the rest.”