Colin Charlesworth reckons Deveronvale can shock Aberdeen in the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup.
The Banffers take on a young Dons side managed by Paul Sheerin at Princess Royal Park tonight in the first round.
With the Reds being a full-time outfit Charlesworth believes they will be most observers’ favourites to progress from the tie.
However, the winger believes Vale can cause an upset as they eye a decent cup run.
The 28-year-old said: “On paper looking at the game people will be expecting them to win, especially with how young our squad is.
“So people might expect Aberdeen to win the game.
“I don’t want to consider losing, but if we do perhaps it’s what’s expected and if we win it’s a shock and a statement sent out to everyone else.
“Every year the manager Steve Dolan has spoken about improving from the season before.
“So in the league if we can improve on last season’s points tally, goal tally and position then that’s good.
“When it comes to cups anything can happen so realistically we want to push as far as we can in the cups.”
The sides met in pre-season for Vale stalwart James Blanchard’s testimonial.
On that occasion it finished 1-1 and although the clash was only a pre-season encounter Charlesworth believes Deveronvale can take encouragement from that game.
He added: “It’s always a good test for us to play against sides like Aberdeen.
“We also played them in a pre-season game and they had the new signing Michael Ruth in the team as well as Bruce Anderson, who has been around the first team.
“Although it was only a pre-season game we can take encouragement from it.
“We set ourselves up to be rigid, tough to beat and to hit them on the counter-attack.
“We gave away a soft penalty, but apart from that they didn’t really threaten us until the last 15 or 20 minutes.
“So if we play to the levels we can I think we’ve got a good chance.”
After four years with Inverurie Locos, Charlesworth returned to Vale in March.
The closing months of his spell were disappointing with injuries holding him back.
But he hopes to rediscover top form under manager Dolan at Princess Royal Park.
Charlesworth said: “I’m enjoying being back at Vale and it was an easy decision for me.
“When I was leaving Inverurie I had a couple of options but with Vale there was no real back and forth, it was just a case of trying to make the move happen.
“I had a good time at the club before. Things have changed at the club since, but I had a good time then so I’m happy to be back.
“I was at Locos for four years and in the first two I was playing most weeks.
“But in the two years I didn’t do myself any favours with injuries.
“Then I was playing and getting injured and it meant the manager couldn’t put me on the park as often and get big performances from me because my fitness wasn’t there.
“But I’m over that now and hopefully I can find form which will benefit me and Vale.”