Paul McGinn on doing it the hard way as he insists 'it's about time Hibs won a cup'

Paul McGinn always trusted he had the ability to make it to cup finals but as a wee guy, it took him longer than others to make a big impact.

Paul McGinn was speaking at a Premier Sports Cup event. Premier Sports is available on Sky, Virgin TV and the Premier Player from £12.99 per month, and on Amazon Prime as an add-on subscription (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Paul McGinn was speaking at a Premier Sports Cup event. Premier Sports is available on Sky, Virgin TV and the Premier Player from £12.99 per month, and on Amazon Prime as an add-on subscription (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

“There was a perception around that all the McGinns were too small until late on. That’s a thing with youth football in this country that’s frowned upon to be honest.

“We were small until we were 16 which doesn’t help and then you get growing pains and stuff like that.

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“John went through the same thing. He either wasn’t playing or they were trying to make him a left-back all that kind of stuff. Luckily the odd one or two had faith in him and that’s been rewarded now.”

While League and Scottish Cup winner John is expected to make the trip north for Sunday’s Premier Sports Cup final at Hampden, covid restrictions permitting, it is brother Paul who is hoping to take to the hallowed turf in search of the silverware that has evaded him in a career that took longer than anticipated to heat up but has been delivering in recent years, finishing best of the rest in the Premiership and reaching successive semi finals and finals.

But, having bagged his first Scotland cap earlier this year, if he can also earn a cup winner’s medal by helping Hibs defeat Celtic, the 31-year-old’s wait will have been worth it.

He has been close. As well as last season’s Scottish Cup disappointment, he was actually a St Mirren player when his brother won the 2013 League Cup with the Paisley club but, he had chosen to see out that season at Dumbarton.

“I actually couldn’t play for St Mirren until the January and the day before I could play they went and beat Celtic in the semi-final. At that point I’m thinking ‘I better go on loan then!’ There was no way I was getting in that team. But it was a good day. And a good night out too!

“I was next to Daz McGregor in the stand as he had a bad injury at the time and it was 90 minutes of nerves, a mad game.

“But going to Dumbarton is not something I look back on and regret. At that point St Mirren were playing really well and that made the decision easy. It was a good Dumbarton team we had right enough. It was their best finish in 35 years [finishing seventh in Championship]. But, I always trusted I could get to this stage.

“I did it the hard way and when you look back to 14 to 15-years-old, if you had more belief in yourself you’d maybe start higher up the tree but it might not have worked out for me that way.

“Thankfully I got myself to the top of the Scottish game and hopefully I stay there for a bit longer.”

And, capitalise on the extra opportunities that life as a Hibs player offers.

“A lot of the time the teams I was at were fighting for survival. At Hibs it’s about time we won one. We have been sniffing around cups for a while and our record should be a lot better. We are good at getting to finals but now it’s about winning one.

“A winners’ medal would make it a really good year after a tough time of late.”

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