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Annan prepare for their biggest match

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Chris Jardine | 18:49 UK time, Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Annan Athletic are looking ahead to the biggest fixture in their history on Sunday.
I'm sure everyone is well aware of our recent story, but it's still hard to believe how far we've come in such a short space of time.

And to think that a little over 14 months ago we were looking forward to travelling to places like Easthouses and Selkirk.

As it is, we have the small matter of a national semi-final, the Alba Challenge Cup game against Dundee at Dens Park.

As we look forward to this massive game, I'm sure everyone involved at the club, particularly the chairman, Henry McClelland, is casting their minds back to before we won our place in the Scottish Football League.

Alba Challenge Cup

Regardless of the result, it should be a very proud day for everyone involved and I'm sure we'll have a few supporters travelling in the hope we can pull off a major shock.

I'll be honest and say this was the draw I had hoped for, although I had my fingers crossed for a home tie.

Before you think I was getting carried away thinking Dundee would be the easier of the ties, that's not what I meant at all.

In fact, I think we have the hardest draw possible. I simply felt that it would have been the best draw for the club.

I had been emailing Dundee and former Annan striker Colin McMenamin and he was confident that they would have brought 1,000 fans down to Galabank. That, added to a healthy home support, and it would have been great from a financial point of view and also for the town.

It's always great to meet up with former team-mates and it will be good to see Colin at the weekend. Unfortunately for him (although not for us), he won't be available for the game as he damaged his ankle ligaments a couple of weeks ago.

But it will be good to catch up all the same. We need a bit of a chat anyway because we're currently organising his wee brother Gary's stag do to Tenerife next year.

I've not seen Eric Paton for a couple of years either since he left Queen of the South. I played in the same team as Eric for Rangers' youths many moons ago and he has gone on and had a really good career in the game and is a fantastic player.

He's not the only one. In fact, the boys were going through their squad at training on Tuesday and we couldn't believe the players they had.

It's a tall order we're facing. But, at the end of the day, it's 11 against 11 and we'll give it our best shot.

News has just reached me that we will once again be travelling up and down the country in the second round of the Scottish Cup.

We've already been to Inverness and Elgin this season and it's a difficult trip up to face Cove Rangers this time.

It's early days and we don't know too much about their side right now, but any trip to the Highlands is difficult and I'm sure we would have hand-picked a different draw.

I'm sure the manager will do his homework and have us well prepared to give us the best opportunity of reaching the third round.

We've not been too successful in terms of Scottish Cup runs in all my time at the club and it's definitely one of my biggest disappointments we failed to qualify on so many occasions.

The new format gives us a better chance of a wee run and, without looking too far ahead, if we get through the first tie, I'm looking for a kind draw before the big boys come in.

The chairman has been telling me for years we would pull a Rangers or a Celtic away. Well, my time's almost up, and this could well be my last chance, so it's now or never, Henry!


  • Comment number 1.

    Cant wait for the match , i hope we give some lads a chance (no disrepect to yous) but they some have had little game time so hopefully they will take there chance . i definatly have went to annan for the game

    Good Luck Chris but as always COME ON THE DEES!

    thank you and goodnight

  • Comment number 2.

    Would have thought you being a regular visitor to Aberdeen would realise your trip to Cove Rangers is no more Highlands than you semi final against Dundee, it's only 60 miles up the road and is nowhere near the Highlands....

    that said, good luck against Dundee, you'll need it

  • Comment number 3.

    aye good luck for the Dundee game chris , hopefully ye get some game time against some good opposition , then hopefully if you get by Cove Rangers in the scottish i might be watching you in person if you draw Celtic in the next round

  • Comment number 4.

    Firstly best wishes to everyone from Annan for the game at the weekend. It would be great to see your team reach the final and prove that teams don't need money to win things

    Ghodfather.Abdoulay Konko you are a round early as Celtic along with all the other SPL teams and the top 4 from last season SFL1 don't enter the cup until the 4th round in January. With a bit of luck there is no reason why Annon cannot make it that far

  • Comment number 5.

    There's no way I'm missing Sundays trip to Dundee! We're goonna have to pull one of the bag like never before against Dundee to win it but like George Michael said 'ya gotta have hope'!!

    Mon the Annan. 90 mins from the final!!

  • Comment number 6.

    GOOD LUCK p.s enjoying your blogs

  • Comment number 7.

    Good luck Annan. Would probably be better to see yous in the final instead of us, none of the derry boys i've spoken to are going to the game tommorow and say they would only go to the final as a day out. Challenge Cup is as big as the Forfarshire Cup to abody.

  • Comment number 8.

    No offence Chris but Dundee will hump your team. They're just too good this year.


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