Girvan FC are set to face Auchinleck Talbot on Saturday in the senior Scottish Cup in what promises to be an extremely tough test.
Manager Iain Kearney admits that he would rather have avoided the current Scottish Junior Cup holders but is really looking forward to the weekend tie at Hamilton Park.
He said: “I think the Talbot were the side that anyone in the draw at this stage would rather have avoided considering the calibre of their side .
“They are the Scottish junior cup holders so it will obviously be a tough game but we’re all looking forward to it.
“It’s a great thing for the club to be involved in a tie like this and I hope the town come out on Saturday and rally round the team as you know Talbot will bring a good support down.”
Girvan go into the game on the back of a 1-0 win on Saturday against Irvine Victoria on Saturday in the Ayrshire District League.
Mark Doolan’s first goal for the club with 20 minutes to go sealed all three points for Girvan and kept them unbeaten at home so far in the league this season.
Boss Kearney admits it has been tough for the players not to think about the game against the current Premier League Division Leaders.
He said: “It’s been difficult to keep the players minds off the Talbot tie to be honest.
“But we know anything can happen on the day and I am a believer in making your own luck. If we can avoid losing an early goal and weather the storm then we will start to become more confident in our forward play.”
Girvan remained unbeaten in the Ardagh Glass League Cup last month before the league season got underway beating Maybole and Troon along the way before losing to Cumnock on penalties in the quarter finals.
Reflecting on the Cumnock tie Kearney said: “We played really well against Cumnock and I don’t think that anyone who was in the ground that night would argue that it was the Cumnock keeper who kept them in that game.
“Talbot are obviously a class apart from them but we have competed well against the Premier sides in pre-season and also beat two first division sides in Maybole and Troon in the League Cup.
“We won’t go out to kill the game or anything like that but we recognise we must be cautious and grow into the game.
“Going gung-ho against the Talbot would be extremely foolish but we like to play football and I think the pitch here at Hamilton Park helps us do that.
“We are unbeaten in open play this season at home and if we get a roll of the ball on Saturday and combine it with hard defensive work you become more partially confident.”
Kearney says that the experience of his centre backs will be vital.
“The defence has been doing well and Neil Shearer the captain is a former junior cup winner and can help the other boys not to become overawed by the occasion.”