THE chairman of Buckie Thistle has told the “Brechiner” he is “very hopeful” that his side will be in the quarter-final draw for the Scottish Cup come Saturday evening.
While Mark Duncan wouldn’t be drawn on a final score-line, his side feel confident of creating a cup upset.
Buckie warmed up for the visit of City with a three-one win at the weekend, to maintain their place at the top of the Highland League and, after last year’s Highland scare at Wick Academy, Jim Weir will leave his players well informed on the strengths and weaknesses of their cup opponents.
Mark said Buckie has reached cup “fever pitch this week”.
“We were out of the cup if we are honest about it and we had no complaints. And then we are told we are back in.
“We knew there was a chance, but until you get that confirmed you just keep hoping.
“The game on Saturday will be all ticket. There will, however, be a cash gate in operation for visiting supporters, to to help with the logistics and we are going to open our social club at the ground three times a day to sell tickets for the game.
“We sell them to our season ticket holders and then they will go on general sale.
“Brechin City have asked initially for 350 tickets, but obviously myself and Angus (Fairlie) will liase on that right up until the last minute in a bid to help each other out.
“We are looking at having a minimum gate of at least 3000 people at the game.
“There will be a great atmosphere and we are as happy to give Brechin as many tickets as they require.”
The Buckie chairman of the past eight-and-a-half years explained that the cup game was on a par with having to go to Wick last year to try and win the league championship for the first time in 52 years.
“We won that game and won the league, but this is a totally different scale and I hope people in both Brechin and Buckie realise this.
“Here we have two wee clubs playing for a place in the national cup competition in Scotland. Regardless of the outcome and final result that is an achievement in itself.
“It’s the biggest game in Buckie since we played Falkirk in 1958. Then, it was one-one and we got a goal disallowed. Falkirk went up the park and scored with the referee still being questioned over the disallowed goal.
“There was 8000 at that game, but we will settle for just under half that figure on Saturday.
“We have got a good side. Our strength is the quality in the 22 or 23 players we can pick from which you need when you are competing for the Highland League.
“Zander Sutherland played at ICT and Elgin, Craig McMillan also played at Elgin, while Martin Charlesworth played at ICT.
“We have a lot of boys with SPL and SFL experience. This is the way football is.
“It will be a fantastic day whatever way the football turns out. We have a reputation up here in Buckie for looking after people - something we are immensely proud of.
“I promise the people of Brechin that they are assured of the best Highland hospitality when they arrive up here.
“That’s the sort of place it it. Our fans are good football fans, and when we play good sides they recognise that.
“I think there is a 50-50 chance we can go through. We are at home with a decent sized pitch and a massive support behind us. It’s cup football at its best.”