Having suffered painful cup upsets against lower league opposition Andy Considine savours getting the chance to play for Aberdeen at Hampden.
Tomorrow the Dons are at the national stadium for their Scottish Cup semi-final with Celtic.
It’s the Reds’ third trip to Mount Florida this campaign, having beaten Rangers 1-0 in the League Cup semi-final in October before losing to the Hoops by the same scoreline in December’s final.
Aberdeen have been frequent visitors to Hampden under boss Derek McInnes. But prior to his arrival it wasn’t a stage they graced with such regularity.
The Reds had been stung by cup upsets against lower league sides. Those defeats hurt Considine.
The veteran defender played in August 2006 when Jimmy Calderwood’s side were knocked out of the League Cup by Third Division Queen’s Park on penalties.
A season later the 32-year-old scored twice, but the Dons still lost to First Division Queen of the South (4-3) in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup.
In 2009 second-tier Dunfermline triumphed on penalties at Pittodrie in the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup.
Considine missed the Scottish Cup defeat to Raith Rovers of the First Division the following year, but was involved in September 2011 when Second Division East Fife won 4-3 on penalties after a 3-3 draw at Pittodrie in the League Cup.
Things have changed significantly under McInnes and having experienced those lows, Considine savours the highs of Hampden.
He said: “In football you grow a thick skin when you lose games like cup ties against lower league sides. I’ve been involved in some nasty ones over the years. And I’d like to think it betters you as a player and a person.
“I feel in the past three or four years we have come really close in the cups.
“The more times you turn up at Hampden it feels better instead of being almost blown away by the occasion.
“With the amount of times we have turned up at Hampden the boys aren’t overawed by it.”
Sunday’s clash will see the Dons take on a side who they haven’t been able to get the better of at Hampden in recent times.
But Considine believes this can be the Reds’ time as they aim to set up a meeting in the final with Hearts or Inverness Caley Thistle.
The man who made his Reds’ debut in 2004 says previous losses to Celtic will be motivation.
He added: “It’s a huge game and the thing the manager says at the start of the season is that we want to be involved in the latter stages of cup competitions.
“We’ve been in one final already and lost out narrowly to Celtic.
“I feel like we are almost due Celtic one because we seem to be bumping heads a lot in finals and semi-finals over the years.”