Buckie Thistle manager Graeme Stewart hopes none of the players feel the pain he did following today’s Highland League Cup final.
The Jags take on Rothes at Christie Park, Huntly in this afternoon’s showpiece.
The last time Stewart was involved in a Highland League Cup final was a player for Buckie in 2014.
Following a 3-3 draw with Clachnacuddin, he had a penalty to win the cup and missed before the Lilywhites claimed the silverware in sudden death.
Stewart said: “That was a hard one to take and I’d like to put that to bed because I haven’t reached the final as a player or a manager since.
“It’s one I can’t forget. I had the penalty to win it and I missed and then Iain MacRae missed after me in sudden death.
“I don’t want any of the players to end up like I did, having missed the penalty to win the cup.
“It’s a horrible feeling and I remember we were going out after it, but you have that feeling of not wanting to go and not wanting to mix with folk.
“It’s hard to get over, so I hope that doesn’t happen to anyone.
“It was a horrible experience so for me the way to put that to bed and get over it would be to win this one.
“We’ve practised penalties and we’ve got boys that can take a good penalty, which I think helps.
“Of course experience can help if you’ve been in the situation before, but that doesn’t mean you’re definitely going to score and you’re definitely going to win.
“You might have a bad game and then take a bad penalty or you might have a good game and then take a good penalty.
“It’s a bit of a lottery, but I do think practising helps and we’ve done that, but nothing can give you a 100% chance of scoring.
“I hope it doesn’t go to penalties, but if it does hopefully that makes a difference.”
After months without football Stewart believes it would be great for Buckie and their supporters – who will have to watch online because of Covid-19 restrictions.
He added: “It would be unbelievable not just for Buckie, but for the last seven or eight months people have had a lot of hardship and there have been things away from football that are a lot more important.
“But having come through that to win a trophy would be great for Buckie.
“It’s massive for the club and the players, because I convince players to come to the club by telling them they’ll win leagues and cups and we’ve not done it for three years and it’s eight years since we’ve won this competition.
“But we’re up against a very good side in Rothes, so it won’t be easy.”
Defender Hamish Munro is suspended after being sent off in the semi-final against Brora Rangers, but Stewart has everyone else available.