A MUCH-anticipated Scottish football encounter that will reverberate through the years lies in store this weekend, but Falkirk defender Will Vaulks isn’t bothered that for so many this won’t be tomorrow’s Scottish Cup final.
Premiership Inverness against his club, Falkirk, of the Championship, means a far-from-full Hampden won’t feature the presence of the sort of team that most take an interest in, and have an opinion on – something Fir Park on Sunday will not lack as Rangers and Motherwell settle the issue of which of them will be a top-flight team next season.
Englishman Vaulks, on loan at non-league Workington before pitching up at his present posting from Tranmere Rovers two years ago, is prepared to diss the dissers over what could be the most poorly-attended Scottish Cup final in the competition’s 142-year history.
“There is a bit of snobbery,” he said. “Celtic will be disappointed not to be there and they might have filled it, but you have got to give credit to us and Inverness. Falkirk are not a small team. They are a big team, although maybe not in the same way as Celtic, Rangers and Hearts.
“People on the outside can moan all they want, but I don’t think many people in Falkirk or Inverness will be complaining.
““I’ve never even been to watch a cup final. The biggest game I’ve been to was when Tranmere played Millwall in the quarter-final of the FA Cup in 2004.
“The semi-final against Hibs has given us a taste for it, as have all the big games we have been involved in this season. We have played in front of a lot of big crowds at Easter Road, Tynecastle and Ibrox. To play in front of pretty much full houses at these grounds does help us.”
Yet, Vaulks is in no doubt about the magnitude of the task. “We are massive underdogs and the pressure is on them because they are the better team.They are a league above us and have just finished third in the Premiership.
“But we will go out and give it everything we’ve got, just like we did in the semi, and hope we will get the same result. “
Vaulks believes the cup-final experience of Falkirk manager Peter Houston, who guided Dundee United to the trophy five years ago, could provide the impetus to cause a major upset.
He tops up on his optimism by analysing the changing age profile of a team that not so long ago was practically an under-21 side.
“The manager is a very calming influence on the training ground, although we also have Jamie MacDonald, who has played in three finals, and David McCracken, who has played in a lot of big games.
“Tom Taiwo played in the cup final two years ago, so we have a bit of experience that we didn’t have last season and the season before. Then, it was all young boys, but we do now have a balance which will definitely help us.”