Hearts Jamie Walker desperate to atone for the biggest disappointment of his career - starting today at Alloa

Few Hearts players want Betfred Cup progress more than Jamie Walker. The scars of 2013 still gnaw at the winger if you delve into his mind.

By Barry Anderson
Saturday, 28th November 2020, 7:00 am
Jamie Walker still has regrets over Hearts' loss in the 2013 League Cup final.
Jamie Walker still has regrets over Hearts' loss in the 2013 League Cup final.

Losing that year’s final to St Mirren remains the biggest regret of his career to date. It was his first season as an established player in the senior Hearts side and, a teenager at the time, he believed cup finals would be a regular occurrence.

He is now 27 and still waiting. The intervening seasons have seen him leave for Wigan Athletic and return but Hearts have not lifted the League Cup since 1962.

They travel to Alloa Athletic this afternoon looking to reach the quarter-finals. For Walker, it would be one step closer to atoning for a major disappointment.

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“During my career I haven't had many regrets, but losing that game in 2013 is probably the biggest one that I have,” said Walker. “It's a competition I look forward to every season and to win a trophy at this club would be great.

“I’d say it was one that got away. After St Mirren beat Celtic in the semi-final, we were probably favourites and we fancied ourselves. We actually started pretty well, but it was a disappointing day although there's plenty opportunities to put it right.”

Hearts lost 3-2 at Hampden Park that afternoon and Walker remembers thinking he would quickly return to the national stadium.

“I said to my family, when that final came along, I was disappointed when we lost but you think you'll get another opportunity and that it'll come quite quickly.

“Obviously I've had to wait and I'm going to have to wait until December 20 to get another chance at a final. They don't come around often.”

Hearts are already through to the Scottish Cup final and must negotiate a potentially-hazardous trip to Clackmannanshire if they want to remain in the Betfred.

“Over the past few years, for how average we've been in the league, we've done well in the cup competitions,” noted Walker. “It's a game that we'll be favourites for and it would be good to get into the last eight.

“At this club, the bread and butter is the league. We want to win all the matches and get back to the Premiership so the Scottish Cup is on the back burner just now.”

They Edinburgh club stuck three goals past Alloa without reply in Tuesday night’s league meeting at Tynecastle Park. A different test awaits on astroturf this weekend.

Walker is not one of those who intends to sit out because of the surface. “I should be fine. Hopefully the gaffer will choose me. I'm feeling good.

“It will be a tougher game than it was on Tuesday night. It's going to be on the astroturf but it's one we're looking forward to. It’s a chance to get into the last eight and be one game away from Hampden again.

“We will need to work hard and move the ball well. If we create chances, I think we will score goals.”

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