Matty Kennedy is determined to get a second chance with Kilmarnock at Hampden 11 years after his League Cup final near miss.
The winger was only 18 when Killie beat Celtic in the 2012 showpiece but he was already a first-team regular.
However, the Northern Ireland international missed out on the match-day squad and left for Everton later that year, but is now back with his boyhood club after joining from Aberdeen in the summer.
Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s quarter-final against Hearts at Rugby Park, the 28-year-old said: “I started the game before in the league at Inverness and I was in the shape in the build-up to the final, in and out, I wasn’t sure if I would be playing.
“Kenny Shiels pulled me before the match day before he named the team and said I wasn’t going to be involved in the team. I thought I would be on the bench and then I wasn’t.
“As a young boy I was gutted but it was a good experience for me. I was young and to be around the squad when we won it… I was in the stand and then on the bus afterwards. It makes me hungry to be involved more if we do win silverware.
“I would like to try and make that right for me personally, to be involved with a winning trophy for Kilmarnock.
“It does make you hungry, being so close myself. I know I was involved to some degree but I wasn’t on the pitch or on the bench that day so hopefully I can do it one day.
“Growing up at the club since seven years old, it’s only Rory (McKenzie) here that’s still playing. We were in the same age group.
“For me and for Rory as well, if we were to achieve something like that with the club it would be brilliant.
“Friends and family are all from here, they used to take me to training, so if I was to win silverware I would love to do it at Kilmarnock.”
Killie knocked out holders Celtic in the previous round having lost to the Hoops in last season’s semi-finals.
Manager Derek McInnes has urged his team to build on their cup credentials.
“We have got to be a good cup team and we have already shown this season that we can be,” the former West Brom captain said. “We need to continue to be that.
“Even for the English-based lads coming up, it’s different down the road. I played down the road and managed down there. Wembley is so far away and it’s beyond the reach for so many teams and the cups are almost an inconvenience down there.
“Whereas here, when you get into the quarter-final stage and you are two games away from a cup final, it’s important that we sniff it and take the opportunity that’s there.
“I keep saying that to the players, while we are working at Kilmarnock, let’s go and do something that we can be remembered for.
“I want us to be that team but we are going to have to put in a performance because, while Hearts haven’t scored too many goals this season, they have certainly not conceded a lot either.”
Killie will have Liam Donnelly and Corrie Ndaba back from injury but Marley Watkins drops out with a groin injury and could potentially miss Saturday’s league game against St Mirren as well.
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