NOSTALGIA is only a token gesture at Hamilton Academical.
The club will seek to reach their first Scottish Cup semi-final in 78 years when they challenge Falkirk this weekend and that was accounted for in a concise press release yesterday. That feat, back in 1935, might have been considered a good omen since Hamilton made it all the way to the final that year – where they lost to Rangers – but Billy Reid will need to furnish his team talk with something else, with the '80s seeming a lifetime ago for some of his players and, for many, they are.
Reid's own history with cup competition includes the pleasant memory of winning the Challenge Cup while playing for the club in 1992 and he is aware that his side are unlikely to be handed a better chance of appending their own memories to the more prestigious Scottish Cup by making it to the semi-final stage. Wins over Dumbarton and Dunfermline Athletic are signposts on their route to the last eight, while a somewhat lenient draw has since paired them with another Irn-Bru First Division rival in Falkirk.
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The fortune of avoiding clubs of a higher standing – the other ties comprise teams from the Clydesdale Bank Premier League – will likely allow some of the younger members of his team to consider a big day out at Hampden. That would place them among some illustrious company, even if few will be aware of it.
"I am reminded it was 1935 the last time we reached the semi-final," said Reid. "This is a chance to create another bit of history at the club. In 2006, we drew 0-0 at home to Dundee [in a Scottish Cup quarter-final] and lost 3-2 in the replay after extra time, which was a kick in the teeth. Then we were comprehensively beaten when we lost 5-1 to Rangers in 2009."
Amending that record will seem fulfilling for Reid since he turned down the opportunity to take charge at Swansea City in 2010 – a club that won the Capital One Cup on Sunday. "You never know, if I had taken over, maybe Swansea would have gone down the way," he added with a smile. "I would very much like to go to England some time – I said at the time I hoped people didn't think I lacked ambition. But I'm not one to look back."