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Scottish Cup: Rory Fallon eager for fresh taste of glory with Aberdeen

Rory Fallon with his player of the round award. Picture: SNS

Rory Fallon with his player of the round award. Picture: SNS

  • by SCOTT DAVIE
 

RORY Fallon’s hoping the Scottish Cup will make him as famous in Aberdeen as the World Cup did back in New Zealand.

Half of the striker’s six goals for the Pittodrie club have come in the competition this season including both in the quarter-final win at Motherwell.

That saw him pick up the player of the round award from sponsor’s William Hill but the well-travelled front man knows immortality is reserved for those who win the final.

Fallon has already had a taste of the instant fame footballers can achieve when he scored the goal that took the All-Whites to the 2010 World Cup Finals.

It was the first time New Zealand qualified since the team coached by his dad Kevin faced Scotland, Brazil and the Soviet Union at the finals in Spain 28 years previously.

That goal against Bahrain was enough to catapult Rory into instant celebrity status back home and the aim now is to do something similar by ending Aberdeen’s 17-year wait for silverware.

He said: “The only luck I have enjoyed in my career so far was scoring the goal which took New Zealand to the World Cup so I haven’t actually won anything yet.

“That is the one thing I would love to achieve and the Scottish Cup would be a brilliant one to do that given it’s history so it would mean a lot to play in the semi against Hibs.

“I know I respond well to pressure and usually pull it out in the big games when it’s needed so I feel like I get the best out of myself in these occasions.

“Getting the country to the finals was actually better than being at the World Cup because once you are there, no one can ever take it away from you. My life changed dramatically after it as I was a complete unknown in New Zealand until then but the goal meant everyone knew who I was.

“All of a sudden it was mega as all over the country people recognised me and it was strange walking down the street and people saying hello.

“I didn’t mind that to be fair but after the goal there were TV interviews and media stuff on a world stage so that changed but it never changed me as a person.

“Now I’d love to win something before my career is over and the Scottish Cup would be brilliant, especially as it brings with it the chance to compete in Europe.

“It’s been a long time since Aberdeen last won the trophy and it would be a great honour to bring it back here. The game with Hibs is our final and we cannot let ourselves down.

“This is massive as it’s like the New Zealand team who had a huge weight hanging over us with the ’82 World Cup team as everyone since has been compared to them.

“Of course, any Aberdeen team that comes will always be compared to the one that won the European trophies and so many domestic honours under Alex Ferguson.

“I don’t know if what they did will ever be achieved again because of the way football has moved on but to win something with Aberdeen now would be a brilliant thing.

“It’s a huge game but this is why we are in the game and what we train for every day so it is a test of our character to perform on that day.”

Fallon played in all three of his country’s matches in South Africa where they finished the tournament unbeaten after draws with Italy, Paraguay and Slovakia. That made it a much better competition for New Zealand than the three defeats suffered by his dad’s team back in 1982 World Cup Final.

But that hasn’t stopped his father still offering advice to his son, as old habits die hard for the man Rory credits with making him the tough customer on the park he is today.

You get a measure of what it was like for him when the Aberdeen striker realised the similarities between his dad and Roy Keane when he was on loan at Ipswich.

Rory added: “When dad came over last time he gave me advice after watching me in one of the games when I was only on for the last twenty minutes.

“He’s always been my coach from when I was a kid and I always took his advice because I really respect him as a coach and the advice he gave me the last time was valid.

“He’s a hard taskmaster and I could see similarities between him and Roy Keane when I played under him at Ipswich.

“My dad was really hard on me when I was younger because sometimes I’d be in his teams and there’s nothing worse than when the coach is praising his son.

“I never got the praise but I would get a slap around the face if I didn’t do well but that’s helped me be the player I am now.

“That’s why I’m used to the pressure when it comes to big things because as a kid I was under pressure because growing up in New Zealand, my dad was the Alex Ferguson of New Zealand.

“I heard the critics say I was never going to make it as a professional from day one. I’ve had naysayers and critics from the start and that’s why I don’t mind what they say because I’m used to it.”

 
 
 

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