Only two of the Strollers’ current squad, Michael Somerville and Andrew Raeburn, remain from last season thus ensuring a completely new experience for the vast majority of their team. However, manager Chic McAleavy, who himself only took over in the summer and is in his inaugural season of managing a team in the Scottish Cup, does not see their combined lack of experience as a problem.
“This is a massive game for all of our players and obviously for the club as a whole,” stressed McAleavy. “I watched Turriff last week and they are a very good side, although I reckon that the game is not about Turriff, it’s about how we perform. If we play as I know we are capable of playing then we have a really good chance.
“Obviously there are some big clubs like Rangers possibly in the next round and our aim is quite simply to progress.”
Michael Weir, the former Hibs player and now the Strollers assistant manager, added: “I will be asking our players to go out and enjoy themselves because Scottish Cup days are special days. This is a brand new Strollers team and hopefully this game will bring out the best in them.
“They have to make sure that when they go on to the pitch they must be determined to come off it as winners because the game will be as much about mental energy as well as physical fitness.
“I’m certainly going to enjoy the whole day and I’m looking forward to what is a big challenge for all of us connected with Civil Service Strollers.
“A win and Rangers away in the next round would keep everybody happy and that is what we are hoping for,” concluded Weir.
The Strollers, with the exception of the suspended Ross Aitchison and long-term injury victim Charles McAleavy, are at full strength for the clash at Marine Drive (3pm).