Boss and captain wax lyrical about tournament’s allure

Linlithgow captain Mark Tyrell is desperate to add to his impressive Junior Cup medal haul
Linlithgow captain Mark Tyrell is desperate to add to his impressive Junior Cup medal haul
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THE tie of the Emirates 
Scottish Junior Cup fourth round sees Linlithgow travel to face west of Scotland giants Arthurlie at Dunterlie Park.

Rose currently sit 20 points clear at the top of the East 
Super League but manager Mark Bradley admits the Junior game’s blue riband competition is the competition he wants to win.

Bradley, who has two Cup winner’s medals from his 
playing days with Bathgate and Linlithgow, said: “When I played senior football it was all about trying to win the league. That was it, anything else was secondary.

“But when I came into the Juniors I found it was the reverse. The Scottish Junior Cup has a thrill to it like no other. If you get to the final, there’s nothing like it. The town empties as everyone goes to see their side try and lift the cup.

“The celebrations afterwards are crazy and are still talked about to this day.

“I hear our supporters saying that we’ve won the league but that’s still far from over, but the cup ... that’s special.

“We can’t get carried away, though, we must be realistic. Arthurlie have a good pedigree in the Scottish Cup.

“They are one of the top teams in the west. They may be sitting mid-table just now, but tomorrow they’ll be up for the game.

“I know their manager Mark Cameron from when we were at Hearts together as kids and we still keep in touch.

“We have a huge respect for Arthurlie and what they’ve achieved over the years. We’ve looked at them a couple of times and we’re preparing the squad for what to expect. All I can ask the players to do is give the same performance they have all season and, with a bit of luck, we could come away with a result. It’s a very tight park and we have to be prepared for the conditions. We might have to play a different game than normal and adapt to the conditions. Everyone’s fit and it’s only a question of who to leave out – that’s the hard part.”

The last time these sides met was the 2006-07 semi-final at Love Street which Linlithgow won before going on to claim the trophy.

Club captain Mark Tyrell was part of that side and is going for his third winner’s medal, “The Scottish Cup has a magic all of its own,” he said. “Every Junior player wants to win the competition and, although I’ve got two winner’s medals, I want another and another.

“This is as good a squad as I’ve played in but I’m not going to fall into that trap of saying ‘we’ll win the Cup’. There are a lot of dangerous teams out there who are fancying their chances.

“We’re doing 
well just now but leagues and cups aren’t won in 
January.”

Known to his team-mates as ‘Spade’, Tyrell revealed the story behind his nickname. He said: “People ask me about my nickname.

“My older brother Paul ate a lot and his pals called him ‘Bucket’. When we played 
football together they called me ‘Spade’ as in Bucket and Spade and it’s stuck to this day”