The Caley Jags travel to McDiarmid Park looking to seal the IRN-BRU Cup against Dumbarton, which would be their second ever Scottish Challenge Cup win. John Robertson was in charge the last time ICTFC won the trophy, as they beat Airdrie United in the 2003 final, winning 2-0.
Our cup winners in 2003.
Referee: Andrew Dallas
Assistances: David Roome and Daniel McFarlane
Fourth Official: David Munro
The Manager: John Robertson.
“The club has had a couple of tough years; obviously relegated last season and a lot of people have lost interest in it. It’s been tough to rebuild the club on and off the pitch, which is what we’ve tried to do. We’ve lost a huge dressing room, when you consider the calibre of players we’ve lost- you’ve lost Dean Brill, Owain Fon Williams, David Raven, Graeme Shinnie, Andy Shinnie, Jonny Hayes, Adam Rooney, Richie Foran, Greg Tansey- we’ve lost not just quality players but we’ve lost massive characters from that dressing room as well.”
“That’s what we have to start to rebuild, that’s the frustrating aspect for the fans as well, they’ve seen all these players leave and we’re trying to find new players and bring them in to rebuild a dressing room and hopefully they can kick on. I see Saturday as a real opportunity to see the first green shoots of recovery in that process, we could win a trophy, give the players the confidence to finish the season on a high and give ourselves a platform to build on for next season.”
“This club has achieved so much in such a short space of time. Obviously, the sterling work Steve Paterson did to lay the foundations. Myself, Craig Brewster and Charlie Christie helped nudge the club along and then Terry Butcher came to the club and they stayed in the premier league for many years. Also, the days of John Hughes finishing 3rd in the league and winning the Scottish Cup. A lot of people say that’ll never be happening again and that may be the case so when these finals come along, you grasp it with both hands and that’s what I want the players to do on Saturday because we’ve got a new generation of young Caley Thistle fans and it’s important we show them Inverness is a club worth supporting.”
Aaron Doran said: “This will be the third cup final I’ve been involved with at the club, we’ve won one and lost one so I’m hoping to definitely go out and get the win. It’s massive, to get relegated and to be a bit lower in the league than we’d hoped to be at this stage of the season, it can really spring board us up the league if we can win this weekend, we’re confident with the players we have and the football club that we play that we can get a result.”
“In the last couple of seasons, there hasn’t been a lot of success. Since we played in the Scottish Cup final and the Europa League it hasn’t been a great time for the club but if we can bring the cup final this weekend, we’re going for the win and hopefully that can change the tide a little bit and we can look on to bigger things.”
“The players are confident, we played Dundee United last weekend and it was a good performance. We know the players we have in our squad, the talent we have and if we can go there and play the stuff we can play we’re sure we can get the result then look forward to the league but it’s all about this weekend now really.”
“It’ll be a tough game, I think they’ve brought in some attacking players and play some nice football. We like to get the ball down as well so I’m sure it’ll be an entertaining game and hopefully we can get our attacking players on the ball and give them problems.”
Carl Tremarco said: “We’re looking forward to it, it’s always nice to have a break from the league when it’s not going too well and hopefully we can add a trophy.” It’s a big game because it’s a cup game but also because it’s what the town needs at the minute. It’s not been the best of seasons but to win this cup would give us momentum for the last few league games, which we need.”
“Dumbarton are an honest bunch, they work hard and I’m sure they’ll just be as up for it as us. I think if both teams perform to their best then we should have the quality to win the game.”
Ryan Esson said: “First of all it’s a cup and we want to win it. Any win breeds confidence, we’ve got a lot of points to play for and nothing is over yet so hopefully this is the start of a winning run we’ll go on.”
“Obviously, the added bonus is you get something at the end of it, hopefully in the league games after the final we kick on. We got beat in the Challenge Cup final when we were last in the First Division, that sort of galvanised us. Hopefully, if we win this cup we can go on another unbeaten run.”
The Opponent: Dumbarton FC
The Sons have already sold over 2,000 tickets for their first cup final in over 100 years. They earned their place after beating TNS in the semi-final thanks to screamers from both Danny Handling and Dimitrios Froxylias. Dumbarton come into the match after back-to-back league wins against Brechin.
Brad Mckay (suspended) and Nathan Austin (Cup tied) are out. Coll Donaldson returns from injury.
Head-to-head: Dumbarton Wins: 1 Draws: 0 ICTFC Wins: 3
Last Meeting: Inverness 1-0 Dumbarton (16/12/2017)
Carl Tremarco’s first-half goal was enough for all three points back in December against the Sons. Tremarco headed home Joe Chalmers’ free-kick for his second goal of the season.
Route to the Final
Dumbarton FC: ICTFC:
1st Round: Rangers U20s (H) 2-1 1st Round: Received bye to second round
2nd Round: Connah’s Quay (H) 2-1 (a.e.t.) 2nd Round: Aberdeen U20s (A) 4-2
3rd Round: Stranraer (H) 2-1 3rd Round: Peterhead (H) 3-0
QF: Raith Rovers (H) 2-0 QF: Falkirk (H) 1-0
Semi: TNS (A) 2-1 Semi: Crusaders (H) 3-2
Dumbarton (V Brechin): Gallacher, McLaughlin (Hill 69), Dowie, Wardrop (Smith 18), Barr, Carswell, Gallagher, Hutton, Stirling, Handling, Froxylias (Burt 82).
ICTFC (V Dundee Utd): Ridgers, Seedorf, Warren, Mckay, Tremarco, Chalmers, Polworth, Vigurs, Trafford (Mulraney 71), Bell (Doran 78), Oakley (Austin 87).