Formartine United’s Stuart Smith is dreaming of a hat-trick of Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup wins.
The Pitmedden side tackle Banks o’ Dee in the 125th Shire Cup final at Harlaw Park Inverurie.
Defender Smith has spent 10 years with Formartine and has helped the North Lodge Park outfit win this tournament in 2013 and 2017.
The 32-year-old is determined to add to that tally and said: “In terms of myself it would be great to win it again. Most of my football is probably behind me.
“I don’t know how many more finals I’m going to play in so you want to make every final count.
“To win it for a third time would be really good and fingers crossed we can do it.”
Smith out to avoid more final pain
Smith has come close to adding to his Aberdeenshire Cup tally with Formartine losing in the last two finals to Fraserburgh.
Last season’s competition was played to a finish in July and Smith doesn’t want to fall at the final hurdle again.
He added: “It will be a hard game and you see that with the teams they’ve beaten to get to the final shows that.
“It would be massive for us to win the cup. We’ve done all-right in the cup competitions since I’ve been here.
“We lost in the final of last season’s competition to Fraserburgh and it’s a good chance to put that right quite quickly.
“It’s great getting to finals, but losing finals is never nice and that’s still fresh in our minds.
“We want to make sure we have a good feeling after this game.”
Philipson hoping for Dee-lightful outcome
Meanwhile, Michael Philipson hopes this can be the time when Banks o’ Dee end their drought in Aberdeenshire competitions.
The Junior side have never won the Aberdeenshire Cup or the Aberdeenshire Shield.
But in recent seasons they’ve come close – losing in the final of this competition in 2018 and in three shield finals in the last five seasons.
Midfielder Philipson said: “When you’ve lost previous finals they definitely motivate you.
“We’ve had a few finals in both the cup and the shield and we’ve yet to win one.
“Hopefully this can be the time when we get over the line.
“We enjoy testing ourselves against Highland League sides. We’ve got a few ex-Highland League players and we know the quality we have in the squad.”
Junior side up for the challenge
Confidence isn’t something that should be lacking in the Dee squad.
This season the Spain Park outfit have won all 18 games they’ve played.
As a result Philipson is upbeat ahead of the final, but certainly isn’t taking Formartine lightly.
The 23-year-old added: “We’ve had a really good start to the season so there’s no reason to lack confidence for this game.
“We’ve had experience in the final and that should set us up well to hopefully get over the line this time.
“It will be a tough game against Formartine. We’ve played them a few times in the Scottish Cup, Aberdeenshire competitions, friendlies and it’s always a big test.”