Spartans defender dreams big as club begins play-offs
It has been a dream breakthrough season for Spartans defender Adam Corbett that can only be bettered by securing promotion to SPFL League Two.
The 20-year-old has been a revelation at the heart of the defence this year, a mainstay of a back four that saw their goal breached just 17 times as Spartans clinched their second Lowland League title in five years earlier this month.
And now 360 minutes is all that separates the Capital club from joining neighbours Edinburgh City in Scottish football’s fourth tier next season.
Corbett and his team-mates’ journey gets underway tomorrow with a trip to Highland League champions Cove Rangers in the first leg of the Pyramid Play-off semi-finals before the return leg at Ainslie Park on Tuesday night.
The winner will progress to another two-legged tie against Gary Bollan’s Cowdenbeath with the first match taking place next Saturday.
However, these past eight months have been a far cry from what the former Spartans Development player is used to, having been promoted to the first-team set-up by manager Dougie Samuel last summer.
“You set yourself wee targets at the start of the season but what we’ve managed to do so far has surpassed everything,” Corbett said. “You have to have a little bit of faith in yourself and set these goals. Not every player does that but I like to have some targets in mind. If we can get past these two games against Cove and then win the tie against Cowdenbeath, that would just top the lot.
“It would be such an achievement, especially given it’s my first season being involved with the first team. But we’re not even thinking about Cowdenbeath at the moment as we know how difficult it’s going to be to see off Cove.
“They’re a very good side so we know we’re in for a real tough game. Highland League football is slightly different to what we’re used to. With them being so direct, I expect to have quite a lot to do.”
Spartans’ chances of progressing have already been written off in some quarters but Corbett insists they are quite content to travel north as the underdogs.
“There’s a lot of excitement but some nerves as well – that’s only natural,” Corbett explained. “We’re all confident and have prepared well. There’s a good feeling amongst the dressing-room. It suits us being the underdogs so if we can get a decent result tomorrow then we can play the sort of football we like to at Ainslie Park on Tuesday. We’re respectful of Cove but we certainly don’t fear them. We’ve just got to take it one game at a time and think about it sensibly.
“We’ll have a team meeting tonight at the hotel and then again tomorrow to discuss exactly what the game plan is going to be. I’d like to think we’re going up there to win, although we expect a battle. From what I’ve heard it’s a really tight pitch so that’s something we’ll need to bear in mind.”
Reflecting on the club’s league-title win a fortnight ago, Corbett added: “It was such a fantastic occasion to win the league at home. It did look unlikely at one stage with us being quite a bit off East Kilbride but we knew we had it in us to get the points we needed. A lot of the boys have been here a lot longer than I have and you can see what it meant to them.
“We’ve got to put that to the back of our minds now and focus on the task in hand. If we can get a good result up there tomorrow then it sets everything up nicely for Tuesday.”