Inverness Caledonian Thistle captain Sean Welsh is determined to repay the club for reviving his stalled career by leading them to the Scottish Cup final and back into the Premiership.
The Highlands outfit have a high-stakes finish to the campaign, with Saturday’s semi-final against Falkirk followed by a showdown with Ayr in the final Championship game of the season next Friday that will decide whether they make the play-offs or not.
Welsh, who is nearing the end of his fifth season at Inverness, would love to bring success to a club that gave him a platform to get back on track after he had lost his way following injury woes at the end of his time at Partick and then a short and ill-fated stint with this weekend’s opponents in early 2018.
“I’ve been here five years now, I’m very settled, my family are up here with me and we enjoy it,” the 33-year-old said, reflecting on the contentment he has found since moving from the central belt to the north of Scotland.
“I thought I’d be coming here as a stop-gap but now I can’t get away from the place. I’m really settled and I’ve really enjoyed it.
“It’s been a great move for me. It came at a spell in my career when I was a bit lost.
“That brief spell I had at Falkirk before I came here never really worked out off the back of a bad injury so it was good to come here and kind of rejuvenate my career.
“It wasn’t a great spell for myself (at Falkirk), it was a short time but that’s gone now, I’m here and I’m proud to captain Inverness and looking forward to the day.”
Inverness’ season hinges on the next two weekends and Welsh has braced his colleagues for “two cup finals” against Falkirk and Ayr.
“It would be wonderful if we could get back into the Premiership and reach a Scottish Cup final,” he said.
“First and foremost we’ve got the chance on Saturday to get to the final and everybody’s excited for that.
“Then the game the week after will take care of itself. We’ve got two cup finals to end the season and see where it takes us so hopefully we can go and get the right results and then follow that up with the games after that.”
Inverness are third in the Championship, while Falkirk are second in League One.
“Falkirk are a big club,” said Welsh. “They’re in the league they’re in, but I think everybody sees them as at least a Championship club.
“We’re confident in our own abilities but if we’re not at it we’ll get caught out.
“It’s a huge opportunity but we’ve got to go and take advantage of it. It’s not very often you get to a Scottish Cup semi-final and come up against a League One side.
“They’ll be saying the same because it’s not very often you come up against a Championship club in a semi-final. The two clubs know the opportunity they’ve got. Hopefully we don’t waste it.”