Junior Cup: Burgh star will go from Cancun to Kilmarnock

Graeme Beveridge
Graeme Beveridge
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Musselburgh Athletic star Graeme Beveridge is hoping to play in the Junior Cup Final just hours after a arriving off a long-haul flight from Mexico.

The 24-year-old, who joined Musselburgh Athletic on loan in January from Elgin City, is scheduled to arrive back at Glasgow Airport at 7am this Sunday after a nine-and-a half hour flight – and just nine hours ahead of Musselburgh’s final against Auchinleck Talbot at Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park.

After being picked up by his dad, Beveridge will dash back to his Livingston home where he hopes to get a few hours sleep ahead of the big match, although as a night-shift worker he is used to going without sleep and isn’t fazed by the prospect of being pitched straight into the action.

Speaking from his Cancun base, he said: “When I signed my deal at Elgin I knew when my contract would run out and I knew I could book a holiday for then, not thinking that I could be playing in a Scottish Cup final.

“I didn’t know when I signed with Elgin at the start of the season that this would even be a possibility. If it had been Spain or something I could’ve maybe looked into getting an earlier flight home, but just because it’s Mexico, the prices involved were farcical.

“It’s not ideal, but it is the situation that we’re in and we’ve just got to try and cope with as best as we can.

“Fingers crossed there are no delays and hopefully the flight doesn’t take it’s toll too much and I can get a sleep on the plane. The only saving grace really is that it’s a five past four kick-off, so even if I am feeling a wee bit tired, I can get home and get my head down for a couple of hours.

“If I don’t get any sleep then I’ll just have to deal with it. It’s not ideal, but I could do it for one day. If I’m playing the first half alone it will just be pure adrenalin and then after that, if we are winning it will just be adrenalin thereafter.”

Beveridge has been in regular contact with manager Stevie McLeish while he’s been away, keeping in touch with each other over email as his boss makes sure he is up-to-date with their preparations for the final, whilst also making sure that Beveridge isn’t over indulging in sunnier climes.

The former Raith Rovers player is equally adapt in defence or midfield and was part of the Musselburgh side that reached the final in 2011, only to lose out 2-1 after extra-time to Auchinleck.

He’s played a key role in getting Burgh to the final, but Beveridge had concerns that he wouldn’t be available to play this Sunday.

His contract with Elgin was set to end on May 23, meaning he would become a free agent and, with it being outwith the registration window, Musselburgh wouldn’t be able to sign him for the final.

Protracted negotiations took place between the two clubs after Burgh booked their final spot with a 5-4 aggregate defeat of Linlithgow Rose back in April, with chairman Charlie McGlynn and manager McLeish urging Elgin to extend his contract with the Borough Briggs outfit until after the final so he could play, but the deal was only rubber stamped in the last few weeks.

Beveridge said: “Stevie and Charlie were working around the clock phoning and emailing back and forward trying to get it sorted. It kind of dragged on a bit and kept going and going. I kept saying to him [McLeish] ‘Look, is it sorted yet?’

“Obviously you just want it done as soon as you can so you know you are definitely available to play. It’s good from Elgin to let it happen.”