ST JOHNSTONE’S substitute goalkeeper Steve Banks is targeting a hat-trick of Scottish Cup medals – without playing in a final. The Englishman celebrated in 2006 and 2010 and now he is hoping the winning streak continues against his former club.
Banks will be on the bench for the Perth club’s clash with Tayside rivals Dundee United on Saturday, covering for number one Alan Mannus.
It is a scenario the player-coach is familiar with because he has two previous winner’s medals, playing second fiddle to Craig Gordon when Hearts beat Gretna 4-2 on penalties and again to Dusan Pernis when United beat Ross County 3-0.
“It is amazing when I think about it. I also think it has happened within the first year of my joining all three clubs,” he recalled.
“I am very fortunate but I have also had to take a bit of ribbing off of people who accuse me of being an Englishman taking jobs off Scottish people at cup finals!
“Usually you say being at a club that reaches a final is a once in a lifetime for player but now I am going for a hat-trick.
“My time in Scotland has been brilliant and I have been lucky to have been at three great clubs – Hearts, United and Saints. I have had cup wins at two and, hopefully, it will be the same at the third.
“I was particularly pleased to get six games this season for Saints at my age. I am 42 and might not play every single game but I still enjoy going out there.”
Reflecting on his lucky streak, Banks added: “Scottish Cup finals seem to come around every four years, just like the World Cup! They are just good days and occasions you want to be involved in. It is hard to describe cup final day. There is emotion, excitement and pressure, all rolled into one.
“My advice to our younger players would be nice and simple – win! Once you have won you can look back on the match and enjoy it all over again.
“You will go down in the club’s history. That is especially the case here at St Johnstone, with the club having never won a major trophy. You will be getting invited back for dinners in ten, 20 years’ time. You will be getting asked about it for the rest of your life. There is a big difference between a winner’s medal and a runners-up one.”