BONNYRIGG Rose goalie Michael Andrews is warming up for the big game this weekend – by deflecting a volley of banter from workmates.
The 26-year-old lines up for the part-timers on Saturday for their Scottish Cup David versus Goliath tie of the fourth round against holders Hibs.
And while he spends the weekends stopping shots and catching crosses, weekdays are spent fielding media sales calls for the Evening News’ parent company Scotsman Publications.
“I’m surrounded by Hibs fans in the office,” said Michael. “One of them told me he had a dream we lost 14-0 and I saved four penalties. I got man-of-the-match!”
A sell-out crowd is expected at Hearts’ Tynecastle Stadium for the game, switched from Rose’s New Dundas Park to cope with demand.
“Obviously it’s one of the biggest games I’ve played in but you prepare the same way,” said Michael, who used to be on Falkirk’s books and represented Scotland up to under-21s.
“You have your own little superstitions like listening to the same music – I have bought a new pair of boots though.”
The former Knox Academy student, from Haddington, was bombarded with texts from friends when the glamour tie was pulled from the hat.
“It’s unbelievable really when you think there were 64 teams in the draw,” said workmate and Hibs season-ticket holder Liam Mathieson, 27.
“I’m just looking forward to him phoning in sick on Monday with a bad back from picking the ball out of the net so many times.”
“Or having had a few beers celebrating,” quipped Michael.
Media sales manager Miriam Wallace, 36, meanwhile, has been trying to help out Michael, nicknamed “Catch” in the office, with some unorthodox training.
“We throw things at him in team meetings but can never catch him out,” she said.
Whatever the result, Saturday will prove another proud moment for Michael’s dad John, who once travelled as far afield as Armenia to watch his son play for the national team.
“I wouldn’t say I’m a nervous supporter,” said former paramedic John, 59, who played in goal himself when younger.
“I have every confidence in him and know that he’ll go out and give 100 per cent.”
Joining John in the stands on Saturday will be Michael’s mum Lorraine, 50, brothers John, 33, and Charlie, 31.
Fiancée Natalie Shaw, 26, whose uncle Graham played for Hearts in the 70s, will be cheering on Michael also, though three-year-old son Jack will stay at home with grandma.
“He’s been to games before but I think he’s a bit young for 90 minutes with a big crowd. I’ll make sure he knows about it when he’s older though,” said Michael.
As for any prediction for the game itself, Michael accepts he may well be the busiest man on the pitch – but you just never know . . .
“Obviously we’re massive underdogs but so we were in the last round,” he said.
“In football games anything can happen. Anyone can beat anyone over 90 minutes.”