Nov 12 2008 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
BRING THE CUP HOME
THE waiting is almost over.
And for Airdrie United gaffer Kenny Black, this Sundays televised ALBA Challenge Cup Final clash with Ross County cant come quickly enough.
The Diamonds head for McDiarmid Park looking to win the trophy as United for the first time.
Four years ago, Airdrie travelled to Perth for the final with Inverness Caledonian Thistle, but were defeated 2-0.
As Onians, Airdrie won the cup in 1995, 2001 and 2002.
Around 2000 tickets have been snapped up by eager Diamonds fans desperate to see their heroes lift silverware.
Black knows his side have the chance to make history and insists his players are totally focused on securing cup glory.
He told the Advertiser yesterday: This gives us a nice break from the league campaign and we are concentrating on doing well.
Hopefully, we can go to Perth and bring the trophy home.
The build-up is something you just have to live with but from my point of view, I would rather the game was getting played in an hours time.
Tickets seem to have been selling well and supporters will be going up there with the intention of seeing us lift the trophy.
Black has a full squad at his disposal for the cup showpiece with central defender Bobby Donnelly fit again after a foot injury.
The 21-year-old played for the reserves in a 2-2 draw with Stranraer at Stair Park on Monday night.
We have everyone available for selection and that includes Bobby who seems to have come through that match with no adverse effects, Black added.
It was important he got 90 minutes.
The hardest part of the weekend will be telling the players who wont be involved. Every one of these players will want to be part of the 16.
But this is when you earn your money as a manager. There is no room for sentiment, you have to be honest and brutally frank.
Some difficult decisions will have to be made.
Black will urge his players to seize the moment against County but is already thinking of challenges lying beyond Sunday.
He said: This is a little bonus for us but I think I will be happier when we get back to league business.
We have a cup final on Sunday but we have so many cup finals between now and the end of the season.
l Tickets are still available from New Broomfield at the following times: Wednesday - 10am-4pm; Thursday - 10am-8pm; Friday - 10am-4pm; Saturday - noon-2pm; Sunday - 11.30am until buses depart.
l THIS weeks Airdrie United lottery numbers are as follows: £800 draw - 8, 11 and 17. £300 draw - 8, 13 and 18.