NICK ROSS wasn't allowed to go after Super Caley as they went ballistic at Celtic Park, 14 years ago.
He had school the next day, after all, and was left to follow the Highland club's most famous cup victory from his home back in Inverness.
Now a midfielder in the current side, Ross might be about to overtake the heroes of the 2000 team, though. Having played in most of the Highland club's matches this season, the 22-year-old midfielder can expect to be given a prominent role in a Scottish League Cup semi-final with Hearts on Sunday, as his side attempt to make a major final for the first time in the club's history.
An enduring absence from a cup final has only helped secure the reputation of the Inverness team that defeated Celtic, a group of part-time and full-time players led by manager Steve Paterson. The squad can be riffed off easily by Ross and he likely harbours some hope that supporters will be able to recall his name just as readily if he is able to take Inverness to the League Cup final this season.
"I travelled down to the original Saturday game but, if you remember, it got called off after storm damage at Celtic Park," said the midfielder of the 2000 cup tie. "The rearranged game fell on a school night, so I wasn't allowed to go.
"You could say that victory has never really been surpassed, no matter what we've achieved in league terms. Maybe if we won the League Cup, it would be. But the way that team won it, with everything stacked against them at Parkhead, was just out of this world."
Inverness are hardly having things their way this season either. With the semi-final given a lunchtime kick-off to accommodate television coverage, supporters have to make an early start in the Highlands, while Hearts need only to cross the city.
Ross acknowledged the gripes of his side's fans but was adamant that the team is in little need of further incentive to reach the final. "It's quite unfair, really, with the early kick-off and the game played in Edinburgh," he said. "You get used to [this kind of treatment] at Caley Thistle. Everyone sees us as not really that important.
"We just get on with it. We'd be up for the game, anyway. We don't need too much extra motivation."