Adam Rooney has described the moment he swept in the penalty that secured the League Cup for Aberdeen as “bitter sweet”. The striker previously starred for Inverness Caledonian Thistle, the side left deflated by his strike in a 4-2 shoot-out win for the Pittodrie club.
Knowing what it meant for Aberdeen, Rooney quickly overcame any sympathy for his former club as he celebrated with his team-mates. The successful conversion at the end of the stadium where the Inverness fans were grouped meant he had written his name in history as the player who ended Aberdeen’s 19-year trophy famine. “It is obviously a bitter-sweet moment as it is not nice to do it in front of the Caley Thistle fans,” said Rooney. “I thought they were excellent. I really enjoyed my time there – they were brilliant. It was not nice to run and celebrate in front of them but, at the same time, it was an unbelievable achievement for Aberdeen to win their first trophy in many years.
“I’m still really good friends with Richie Foran and Ryan Esson,” he added. “There are a lot of good staff there who I haven’t seen in a couple of years. I really enjoyed my time there. I think it helped me progress in my career and it is a great achievement for them to get to a final. It’s slightly easier saying that when we have gone on and won it.”
Barry Robson, who scored with Aberdeen’s first penalty, was heartened by the memory of scoring for Celtic against Barcelona at the same end at Celtic Park in a Champions League fixture in 2008.
“I like Hampden but to be able to come back to a place where I’ve had a lot of success, in front of fans who’ve been good to me, and win a cup was great,” said the 35 year-old. “My penalty was at the end where I scored against Barcelona too. The ball ended up in the same corner. It went over Victor Valdes’ head.
“I actually got a text message from Gordon Strachan on the morning of the game,” Robson added. “That was a nice touch from him. He told me to ‘stay focused’ and that I’d to enjoy it. “I texted him back saying: ‘I’ll only enjoy it if we win it!’.”