The vast majority of Aberdonians inside Celtic Park on March 16 2014 were sent into raptures when Adam Rooney slammed his League Cup-winning penalty past Dean Brill – but current captain Graeme Shinnie wasn’t among them.
Instead, the north-east native – who had played 120 tense minutes in the blue of Inverness Caley – was left to look on enviously as 40,000 Dons fans roared their Peter Pawlett-infused version of The Human League’s Don’t You Want Me in celebration of a first Reds trophy for 19 years.
Shinnie, who joined Derek McInnes’ team from the Caley Jags one season later, says the sights and sounds in Glasgow’s east end on final day were part of his decision to come to Pittodrie.
He grew up in the Granite City’s Cove, attending the now-closed Kincorth Academy, but it wasn’t until 2015, after rising from the youth ranks in the Highland capital, he found his way to the Dons.
“The amount of fans and supporters was something I’ve never experienced before,” the 27-year-old said.
“With Peter Pawlett’s song and stuff like that, we obviously didn’t focus on it that much because we wanted to win the game with Inverness, but it was something you couldn’t not see.”
Shinnie has been unlucky not to lift silverware while in the red of Aberdeen already.
The Betfred Cup final with Celtic at Hampden will be the latest opportunity to do it and add to the Scottish Cup he won in his final game for Inverness against Falkirk.
His closest shave so far with Aberdeen came in the Scottish Cup final against the Hoops two seasons ago, where McInnes’ side led 1-0 through Jonny Hayes, before losing their chance at silverware to a late Tom Rogic goal.
The versatile midfielder and left-back has recently become a full international at Aberdeen, and leading his team to silverware would cap a memorable spell.
Shinnie added: “When I came down, especially with the hype around the game with Inverness when I was on the opposing team, and the amount of fans the Dons took down, the celebrations after the game and the day after on Union Street – those are the days you want.
“Now, being captain of the club, I’m desperate to get my hands on silverware. It’s always something I’ve been desperate to do here. We’ve come mightily close on a number of occasions and it makes you hungrier to get it.”
Despite his abiding hope the Reds can get over the finishing line at Hampden, Shinnie says it isn’t a case of the Dons expecting to win trophies.
Semi-finals and finals, yes. But he says going all the way is a journey littered with pitfalls.
Shinnie said: “I don’t overly expect to win trophies. There’s hope and you always expect to be there or thereabouts, but it’s tough.”