Having narrowly missed out on Linlithgow Rose’s last Scottish Junior Cup triumph, striker Colin Strickland is desperate for a winner’s medal of his own come June.
The 29-year-old joined the Prestonfield outfit in July 2010 from Whitburn, just three months after Rose lifted the holy grail of Junior football with a 1-0 victory over Largs Thistle at Rugby Park.
Influencing his decision to make the move was his belief that he’d one day achieve his aim of winning the cup with Rose, who also secured the top prize in 2002 and 2007, yet so far, it has proved elusive.
Rose play host to Musselburgh Athletic in the first leg of their semi-final clash tomorrow afternoon, with the reverse fixture next Saturday, and Strickland believes Rose are well equipped to secure the trophy this season.
“At a club like Linlithgow, the fans always expect you to be there or thereabouts and hopefully this year can be our year,” said Strickland. “At the end of the day, players like myself sign for Linlithgow because you want to win the big trophies.
“The reason I came here is because you want to play in these big games. It’s not every year they come round, but they do come round a bit more here than most. You want to win the big stuff and we’ve got a fantastic opportunity to hopefully go on and do that.
“If we can hopefully get past Musselburgh, then you never know. It will be another difficult game whoever is waiting in the final, if we manage to get there. Without a doubt, on our day we are good enough to get through these two legs and win the cup.”
Strickland has endured a frustrating past few months out through injury. A hamstring problem ruled him out at the start of the year and once fit, he couldn’t force his way back into manager Danny Smith’s plans. He was handed his first start in over a month last Saturday at home to Fauldhouse United in the Fife and Lothians Cup and notched a double in a 4-1 victory.
He said: “With injury and other different reasons over the last few months I’ve not actually played a lot of football. We had games off and the team were doing alright, so by the time I got myself back fit I couldn’t get in the team. It’s been frustrating because I was flying at the start of the season.
“It was good to get 90 minutes under my belt and to score a couple of goals on Saturday. Hopefully I’m starting to hit a bit of form at the right time.”
Rose boss Smith is looking for his side, as favourites, to put Burgh on the backfoot from the off and take a lead through to Olivebank next weekend.
He said: “Although it won’t be easy, it’s a great opportunity for players to progress and get into a Junior Cup final. I’m confident that if we can get near the levels that we’re all expecting and requiring, that it would be enough to get us few these two games.
“It’s an opportunity for us at home, to go and put a bit of pressure on Musselburgh and test them. I’m looking for us to try and go out early doors and get a grip of the game and take it to Musselburgh.”