Update - Brechin City will be meeting Buckie Thistle after East Sterlingshire were ejected from the competition.
THE “Brechin Advertiser” is urging local people, even those who have never attended a football match in their lives before, to be “up for the cup on the weekend of Saturday, February 5 or Sunday, February 6, and get the road maps looked out just in case.
On Thursday (tomorrow) the SFA’s emergency committee will meet at Hampden Park to discuss a registration issue relating to East Stirling goalkeeper, Mike Andrews, who is presently on-loan from Falkirk. The only thing Brechin City fans can be certain of is that they will be playing either East Stirlingshire or Buckie Thistle for a place in the Scottish Cup quarter finals.
An SFA spokesman said: “While we understand the problems this causes for supporters, players and clubs alike, the SFA have to adhere to the set criteria which is laid down in terms of the rules of the competition.
“The emergency committee will meet at 10.30 am on Thursday morning and only sometime thereafter will we be able to make a further comment on this matter.”
The emergency committee consists of George Peat, president of the SFA, vice-chairman Campbell Ogilvie, Ralph Topping, Jim Ballantyne, George Campbell and Alan McRae.
Sources at the SFA have said that while they are hopeful the matter will be resolved today, there is no guarantee this will be the case.
Brechin City chairman, Ken Ferguson (right), said the important thing for his club was to focus on the matter in hand, as City have two important league games before the cup-tie, whatever the destination.
He said: “It’s a crucial part of the season for the club and we are delighted to have advanced so far in the competition, especially given the stop-start nature of it so far.
“The game itself represents a massive opportunity to advance further, but we will be treating it like any other game.
“I think everyone associated with the club is pleased that we have the opportunity to stake a claim for a place in the quarter finals of the national cup competition.
“It doesn’t matter whether we are going to Buckie or Larbert, we hope our players and management will be able to display the same sort of positive performance they produced in the previous round at Dumfries.
“We will take the game as it comes, but the more locals who can attend on the day the better.
“These opportunities obviously don’t come along every week and I would urge as many people as possible to go along and back the team and enjoy the special atmosphere of the Scottish Cup.
“The benefits for the community in Brechin are important too.
“If we can defeat East Stirling or Buckie and get a place in the quarter finals, the opportunity to play an SPL side in the quarter finals exists, along with the obvious benefits for the shops, pubs restaurants and cafes that goes with that.
“What we have to remember first and foremost is that East Stirling and Buckie will also be looking at this as a big opportunity.
“It would be great to see the town well represented and to make local voices heard. With this being a Scottish Cup, regardless of who we play, we share a half gate, so a big travelling support can benefit the club.”
Brechin City Supporters’ Club bus convener, Andy Wilson added: “We have just filled up our first 53-seater coach had we definitely been going to Larbert and are now in the process of starting to fill our second one.
“However, we will just have to wait and see what the SFA say on Thursday. Obviously we want to have as many local people as possible down there backing the team.
“We will welcome everyone, regardless if they have ever been to an away match following Brechin City or not.
“Transport will leave St Ninian’s Square and we will confirm departure times in next week’s “Brechin Advertiser”.
“If you are interested in booking a seat then please contact myself as soon as possible so that we know how many buses are needed for this crucial Scottish Cup clash.
“Please note that the game will be played on Sunday, February 6 if we play East Stirlingshire, but on Saturday, February 5 if its Buckie Thistle.”
If you interested in booking seats for any of the match then contact Andy Wilson on 01356 625902 or 07846 629717.
Alan Renilson, of the Brown Horse Hotel, also confirmed they would be running a coach.
Alan said; “We are in the process of arranging a 25-30 seater, but we can get our hands on a bigger bus if need be.
“We will confirm the departure time at a later date, but the most important thing for people wishing to travel is that they get in touch as soon as possible, so we can get an idea of how many people we are taking and what size of bus we require. Regardless of the destination.”
To book a seat on the Brown Horse bus you can reach Alan at The Stables on (01356) 624449 or 07540 722 099.
If your pub is running a coach get in touch with us at the “Brechin Advertiser” on (01356) 622767 and let us know when you are leaving and where from, and we will help publicise your trip to the biggest game in the history of Brechin City Football Club in next week’s “Brechiner”.