Inverurie Locos captain Neil McLean says tonight’s Aberdeenshire Shield final is the biggest game of their season.
The Railwaymen tackle Fraserburgh at Cove’s Balmoral Stadium this evening.
Andy Low’s men are out of the Highland League Cup and hopes of Highland League title success look forlorn.
So for veteran midfielder McLean this is the most important fixture of the campaign.
The 38-year-old Harlaw Park skipper said: “Any cup final you have during a season is the biggest game of your season.
“That’s how we look at it and realistically it’s probably the last chance we have to win silverware this season.
“It’s something we want to win and would be delighted to win, but Fraserburgh will be thinking the same thing.
“They’re still involved in three competitions and will have the same mindset.”
Locos’ last silverware success was in this competition in the 2016-17 season and this is the first cup final they’ve reached since. McLean is frustrated they haven’t challenged for cup honours on a more regular basis.
He added: “It has been frustrating because when you look at a club like Inverurie we should be challenging and in finals regularly.
“That’s what the chairman, vice-chairman and the committee are looking for and it’s what all the players, staff and fans demand.
“As a group we’ve spoken about it and said it’s not been good enough. You have to play well to get to finals.
“We’ve had two tough games, but you get to finals on merit and it’s something we’ve been lacking over the last couple of seasons is a consistent challenge for silverware.”
McLean is also aiming for a hat-trick of Shield triumphs.
He skippered Inverurie to victories in the 2013-14 season and again three years later.
McLean said: “It would be good to win it again. You never get tired of winning trophies.
“On a personal note three successes would be good, but I’d love to see us win it for some of the younger guys coming through who haven’t won anything.”
“But everyone knows Fraserburgh are a very good side and we’ll have to be at our best to win the game.”