Falkirk defender Coll Donaldson is hoping to finally enjoy some Scottish Cup semi-final success after a double dose of frustration in his two previous visits to this stage of the competition.
The 28-year-old was part of the Dundee United side that lost on penalties to eventual winners Hibernian in 2016, and then three years later he was suspended as his Inverness colleagues were defeated 3-0 by Hearts.
Donaldson is hoping for better fortune when he lines up for cinch League One side Falkirk against former club Caley Thistle.
“The first one with Dundee United wasn’t great because we got beat on penalties by Hibs and they went on to win the cup,” said the defender.
“It’s a horrible feeling losing a semi-final because there is that much build-up and focus on the game. Losing that didn’t help us for the rest of the season.
“And in the other one, when Inverness played Hearts, I was suspended because I got a booking for dissent in the quarter-finals, which was so stupid thinking back.
“That was hard as well watching the boys out there. Semi-finals have not been a positive experience for me yet so hopefully it’s third-time lucky.”
Falkirk are approaching the end of their fourth consecutive season in Scotland’s third tier after losing their way badly as a club following a failed promotion bid from the Championship in 2017.
The Bairns appear to have got back on track under John McGlynn this term, and Donaldson is hoping he and his team-mates can give their long-suffering supporters a memorable day out this weekend.
“For the fans, this is massive,” he said. “They probably didn’t think they would be getting back to Hampden for a good few years.
“It’s a day out for them but we hope it’s not just one day out, we hope they can have another day out in June as well.
“We’re so determined to get to the final and we’re quietly confident we can cause an upset, which is what it would be.
“Inverness are going really well at the top end of the Championship, we’ve done really well in our league but there is a difference in the two leagues.
“We are going in as underdogs but we’ve got a squad of boys who are capable of delivering a win on Saturday.”
Falkirk will be at full strength if Sean Mackie proves his fitness in the lead-up after missing last weekend’s win at Alloa through injury.