Hibs boss Jack Ross has admitted to mounting excitement ahead of the Scottish Cup final, saying his side have a chance to go into the history books with victory over St Johnstone.
The Easter Road side have only won the competition three times in their 145-year history but go into Saturday’s final at Hampden full of confidence after a strong season.
Ross has led his side to a third-place finish in the Premiership, guaranteeing European football, and also made the last four of the League Cup.
Winning the final silverware of the season would make it a campaign to remember but Ross says it would be particularly special because of the “romance” of the competition.
“It’s special for me,” he told STV Sport. “This tournament was a big part of my childhood and cup final day was huge.
“The magic has stayed with me. I wanted to win it as a player but I never got beyond the semi-final stage.
“It’s different as a manager because it’s your job to try and bring success to the club, but the romance side of it remains the same for me.
“It’s probably reassuring for me that I felt this way about it this week, that I’ve been excited about leading the team out in a Scottish Cup final, as I hoped I would be if I ever had the opportunity.”
While St Johnstone are looking to add to the League Cup trophy they already won this season, Hibs players know that being one of a select few to win the trophy for the Leith side would be an achievement that would make them club legends.
“As a group we’ve spoken about it, as we got to that crucial part of the season,” Ross said.
“Not to play down the fact that this group could become history-makers as one of the most successful teams.
“They stand on the brink of greatness if they can do it. [St Johnstone manager] Callum Davidson has a group that are on the brink of greatness looking for a cup double.
“It’s interesting that two clubs go into the final with so much at stake and who will be remembered should they be successful.”
For young Hibs defender Josh Doig, the excitement going into Saturday’s game is no different from his manager’s.
The left-back has had a breakthrough season in the Premiership and has been linked with a big move to England but his focus is on fulfilling a dream at the national stadium this weekend.
“It’s the biggest tournament there is in Scotland,” he said.
“It’s something I’ve dreamed of since I was a wee kid.
“I’ve always had the hope and the determination but I’ve never expected to be here saying that I could be playing in a Scottish Cup final.
“It is surreal. Growing up I used to play in the back garden, pretending I was scoring in the Scottish Cup and celebrating like mad.
“To be playing it for real is an unbelievable achievement but now it’s just about going on and winning it.”