Partick Thistle striker Kris Doolan hopes to scratch Hearts’ name out of the William Hill Scottish Cup then tick off his big Hampden bucket list wish.
Doolan has had just one brief experience of running out at the national stadium.
But the 32-year-old admits a late substitute appearance in a 2012 League Cup clash with Queen’s Park in front of just 1,605 fans hardly measures up to the type of experience that awaits his side if they can edge out the Jambos at Firhill on Monday night and book a semi-final slot.
That will be a major ask for a side currently propping up the Ladbrokes Championship but Doolan is determined to see his dream become reality.
He said: “Football is funny and it’s strange how things could pan out. We could make it to Hampden this year when we’re struggling in the Championship, yet when we’ve been doing well in the top flight we have not made it that far.
“No one here would turn their nose up at a trip to Hampden and the fans would love it.
“Playing at the national stadium in front of a big crowd is still something I’m desperate to sample.
“Everyone wants to play there at some point in my career. The only time I’ve had the chance was a cup game against Queen’s Park a few years back.
“That was a totally different kind of occasion and atmosphere from what you’d get in a big semi-final and I’d love to get a taste of that.
“Hopefully we can deliver it. I think the club deserves that day out at Hampden for what we’ve been through over the last year.”
Thistle face the prospect of a second straight relegation if they cannot arrest a worrying slump in form stretching back to the beginning of last season.
But their cup clash with Hearts offers a momentary escape from their league concerns and Doolan is looking forward to going up against their old foes.
He said: “It’s great being back up against a Premiership team as that is who we want to be facing week-in, week-out.
“They are great games to play in and of course you miss them. Everyone around our club wants to be involved in them.
“Of course we can’t forget where we are in the league right now but we have to learn to deal with it.
“Monday’s game is a big one for us – but so have the rest of the ones we’ve had over the last couple of months because of where we are in the table.
“But this one is against a Premiership team and that’s a reminder of where we want to be.”
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