MIDFIELDER Charlie Telfer watched Dundee United in the William Hill Scottish Cup final last season and wanted a piece of the action for himself.
But the 19-year-old could not have imagined then that he would be turning out at Hampden just over half a year later.
Telfer quit Rangers for Tannadice last summer in a bid to secure first-team football and he has now firmly established himself in the United side ahead of their QTS Scottish League Cup semi-final against Aberdeen on Saturday.
Telfer said: “Obviously last year they had the success of getting to a final and this is definitely what all players play for, cup competitions and big games like this.
“A lot of boys were hurting from that result last year so hopefully they will make amends and we can take it one step further this year.
“I watched it on the TV and it just looked brilliant. I watched it because it was the Scottish Cup final but part of me thought I was going there.
“From seeing that and hearing the way the boys talk about it in the changing room, it’s a massive motivation.”
Telfer initially had to be patient at United, with his first starting place under Jackie McNamara not arriving until November.
But he marked it with a goal against St Mirren and, with the completion of the tribunal process that set his transfer fee at £200,000, the skilful player has gone from strength to strength, scoring four goals in eight games.
“I didn’t expect it to go as smoothly,” Telfer said. “At the moment it’s going better than I ever imagined it to.
“I have just had to bide my time and now the manager is showing his faith, and hopefully I can repay him.
“I was at Rangers for a long time and I knew it would it would take a while to get used to a new club. I thought it would probably take about six months or maybe a year to establish myself and prove I was worthy of playing, so it’s going better than I could ever have hoped.
“I’m delighted to even be involved and obviously I’m happy with the way I am playing.
“I just try and make an impact for the team because that’s all you can do, especially if you are coming off the bench. He is obviously bringing you on to try to change the game and make a difference, so that’s what I try to do.”
Telfer put himself firmly in McNamara’s plans for Hampden by scoring a well-taken double in a 3-1 victory over Motherwell last Saturday, but the United boss made seven changes for that game and has shown a preference for freshening his team up.
That does not bother Telfer, who said: “I would just be happy to be involved. The team has done well this season so whatever the manager decides to do is all right with me.
“It keeps everyone on their toes by him changing it a lot. Hopefully I will be involved at some stage on Saturday.”
The Carluke-born player will make his Hampden debut if given the nod.
“Last year the youth cup final was at St Mirren Park so I have never played at Hampden,” he said.
“I have been there a few times watching games. Every cup competition is massive and a big game like this against Aberdeen, our closest rivals, is so exciting.”
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