Callum Booth is looking forward to the biggest game of his life as St Johnstone prepare for the Betfred Cup final against Livingston on Sunday.
The 29-year-old left-back started his senior career at boyhood team Hibernian after coming through the Edinburgh club’s academy but has yet to play in a major final.
Ahead of the trip to Hampden Park, the former Partick Thistle and Dundee United player acknowledged the magnitude of the occasion against Scottish Premiership rivals Livi.
Booth said: “I have never played in a national cup final so it doesn’t really get much bigger than that.
“I have been around a bit now and there have been a few big games in my career, but thinking about it, a national cup final at Hampden, it would be the biggest game of my career.
“It will mean a huge deal to me. It is absolutely massive and to win a trophy would be amazing.”
Booth is hoping his second experience of a Hampden Park final is far better than his last one.
He was part of the Hibs squad which reached the 2012 Scottish Cup final where he sat in the stand and watched a harrowing 5-1 defeat to Edinburgh rivals Hearts.
“I was in the squad for Hibs when we famously got beaten 5-1 by Hearts,” he added.
“I was there but wasn’t stripped, thankfully. That was a really bad day. Growing up as Hibs fan as well it was a really tough day, that goes without saying.
“That was in the Scottish Cup. I don’t think I have even played a semi at Hampden, I was on the bench against Hibs in the Betfred Cup semi-final.
“So I have not been to Hampden too often, so obviously a final is something to look forward to, a massive occasion. Hopefully we can go and win it.”
Again there will be no fans inside the stadium due to coronavirus restrictions, but Booth insists victory would give the Saints fans – who last celebrated a cup win in 2014 when the Scottish Cup came to Perth for the first time following a 2-0 win over Dundee United – a timely and welcome boost.
Booth said: “It is about a year since we played in front of fans which is crazy to think about, but, with all the doom and gloom, it would give the fans and full city a huge lift if we could win the trophy.
“Obviously it is not going to be the same without them being there, but fans have probably had adapted to it is well.
“It will mean as much to the players and fans, although we won’t be able to share it with them on the pitch if we do win it. But we can really raise spirits with a good result.”