Since it’s cup final morning I can’t let what happened a year ago pass without mention. However much it’s great for everyone involved in winning the trophy, it’s just not the same feeling for those who don’t get stripped.
That was like me last year when Hibs finally won it. While it was amazing, the Sunday, parading the cup around Edinburgh, is the day I always remember.
It’s the same for any player. You look at photographs of cup-winning teams and the players who played are in the middle with the cup and it filters away to those on the side with suits and tracksuits on, those who don’t feel such a part of it.
You need to be professional on the day. Last year we were told the team after we walked into the dressing room on match day. All our strips were out. It was 1pm.
I hadn’t been involved in the preparations so I suspected I wouldn’t be in the squad.
But Dylan McGeouch was struggling with an injury. You didn’t know how Alan Stubbs would choose to look at it. Would he be cautious in case Dylan broke down after 20 minutes and name me on the bench?
Dylan’s own potential misfortune gave me an opportunity to be involved.
Even though I was probably expecting the worst when he did name the team and subs it still hits you square in the chest when you realise you’re not involved.
It’s a sucker punch. You go up to the lounge suited and booted. It’s quiet because family and friends are not there yet.
I was with Dan Carmichael, Sammy Stanton, Danny Handling and the goalkeeper, Otso Virtanen.
There’s only space for seven players on the bench. Boys like Liam Henderson might miss out today. After being such a big part last year, it will be hard for him.
Last year they put everyone’s strips up on coat hangers in the dressing room. My strip was up, No 30.
It gives you some excitement. They put a club crest on the locker, with the name ‘Thomson’ above it. That was a new thing for me. But somehow it made it seem worse when you learned the strip they’d hung up wouldn’t be worn.