THE surroundings of Hampden were familiar for Aidan Keena on Saturday. The experience was somewhat different, though.

Now, he is preparing for a game that will be on another level once again as he eyes a Scottish Cup final spot against Celtic.

Keena was part of the Queen’s Park side that lost to Stenhousemuir in the play-offs last season as just a few hundred fans took their seats at Hampden.

But his latest outing at the National Stadium was a far more satisfying one as Hearts beat Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The forward played his part in what turned out to be a comfortable win and is eager to go one better as Celtic lie in wait.

Keena said: “A lot of the games last year didn’t have many fans so there was a bit of a better atmosphere on Saturday. It was good to actually win a game - we didn’t win too many last year!


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“I knew there was going to be a lot ore but when you first walk out you think ‘wow this is much better!’ I prefer the pressure so I liked it, yeah.

“I can’t wait for [the final]. Hopefully I get to play. I haven’t started too many games but it was good to get the start on Saturday and hopefully I’ve done enough to keep my place.

“We’ve still got big games in the league left, obviously Hibs away, Rangers at home so everyone’s playing for places.

“It’s been a short 12 months - it’s flew in. The contrast is huge and I’m happy with myself and how it’s been going so far.

“I was a year younger at 18 and felt it was a big game.

“If you’d told me then I’d be playing in this a year later I wouldn’t have believed you.

“I think there was about 600 at that game and Saturday was a good 20,000 so you can’t compare it.”