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Scottish Cup fairytale for Buckie Thistle as they prepare to challenge the mighty Celtic

By Chris Saunderson

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IT'S a real Scottish Cup fairytale.

Brendan Rodgers and Graeme Stewart will go head to head on Sunday at Celtic Park.
Brendan Rodgers and Graeme Stewart will go head to head on Sunday at Celtic Park.

And what every part-time player in senior football dreams of.

An away draw in the cup at the home of one of the two biggest clubs in Scotland. (I am not going to differentiate between Celtic and Rangers for the fear of 'reprisals')

For the players, there is the buzz and adrenaline rush of walking out in front of more than 30,000 fans, possibly more, at Celtic Park, one of the iconic stadiums in the country.

Many of the Buckie players are Celtic fans and will be going toe to toe with their heroes.

But for 90 minutes they will put their adulation to one side and look to give the Scottish giants a real fright.

At the end they will look to swap shirts with the players they have, for so long, admired from afar, as supporters and TV watchers.

For the fans who watch their team week in, week out in the Highland League, this is a reward for their loyalty, and it is a great day out for others who will make the journey to cheer on the Jags, maybe for the first time, or the first time in years.

For the directors, committee members and volunteers who have kept the club running over the years, decades for some individuals, this is a day to relax, soak up the warm welcome they will undoubtedly from Celtic, maybe enjoy a little well-earned hospitality, and see their team on the big stage.

It is a well-worn cliché, but the club are 'Already winners' in a financial sense, with more than £200,000 set to bolster the Victoria Park coffers.

If Buckie can score, the noise from the 3,000 or so Buckie fans will reverberate around Celtic Park.

And if the Jags 'go steaming in' and give Brendan Rodgers side a real scare on the day, or cause one of the biggest upsets in Scottish Cup history, they will be dancing in the streets of Buckie for years to come.

The odds are that Celtic, like they have done so often this season to teams in the Scottish Premiership, will dominate in their own backyard and Buckie Thistle's players will have to work like Trojans, and run and battle all afternoon to repel the threat.

Buckie are one of the most attack-minded teams in the Highland League and it is unlikely that manager Graeme Stewart will completely abandon his attacking principles just because they are playing Celtic.

Neither will he abandon his animated style of management from the technical area. The Celtic fans closest to the dugouts are in for a treat.

However, reality and the natural order of things, will ensure the Jags will spend much of the time in defensive mode, while trying to hit Celtic on the counter attack.

Buckie will look to stay in the game for as long as possible and frustrate the champions.

The Celtic players are not superhuman, they are all very good footballers, but they are there to be shot at.

Buckie fans – dare to dream. Why not?

Our editorial team of Craig Christie, Jonny Clark, Daniel Forsyth and Beth Taylor will be there to cover the match and the occasion for The Northern Scot and our sister paper The Banffshire Advertiser.

I will be in the away end with the Buckie fans, looking to enjoy the experience and soak up the joy from the travelling green and white army.

I have enjoyed visiting Victoria Park for more than three decades through good times and lean years too.

They are a smashing club and under the leadership of Graeme Stewart and Lewis MacKinnon have become one of the top teams in the Highland League and they are certainly the best supported.

C'mon the Jags.

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