Coll Donaldson has been there, done it, and wore the t-shirt as far as Hampden outings go.  

But by his own admission, it would be fair to say his semi-final experiences as a player have not gone so well to date. 

The defender, 28, turned out for Dundee United at the national stadium against Hibs in 2016. This ended in a heart-breaking penalty shootout defeat for the Arabs, as Alan Stubbs’ side eventually went on to lift the Scottish Cup. 

In 2019, Donaldson was side-lined through injury as Inverness fell to the hands of Hearts in Mount Florida.  

So, with the centre-back ready to line up against his old employers this Saturday in the last four of the Scottish Cup, he’s looking to make it third time lucky as Falkirk aims to reach the showpiece event on June 3. 

“I can’t wait. It’s obviously been on the horizon for a few weeks now since the quarters and now it’s finally here,” Donaldson said. “I played there with United and got beat on penalties and I missed out on the semi-final with Inverness against Hearts through suspension. So, they’re not great really. Hopefully, I can put that right on Saturday. 

“The one for United was quite an eventful game. I gave away the penalty that Jason Cummings chipped over the bar. I mind he said after the game he’d done it because his hair looked like Andrea Pirlo’s. 

“We were by far the better side that day. It was probably our best game of that season, so losing it was desperately disappointing. 

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“I’d already been come off by the time that game went to pens. I came off after about 75 minutes with a hamstring - and got screamed at by Paatelainen. By that’s a different story 

“I’m quite realistic so when you sign for a League One team, you’re not thinking about going to Hampden at the end of the season. Our bread and butter has always been about getting promoted, which is still the case. 

“Saturday is a great distraction, but I was speaking to my dad about this, I’ve not really even thought about it much. It’s just kind of sprung upon us. 

“Maybe because we’ve not had that big Scottish Cup result or shock. When the fourth round draw was made and we were either away to Aberdeen or Darvel. We all thought we’d be going up to Pittodrie for a difficult afternoon. But when Darvel won that we were like, ‘Wow!’ 

“Against Ayr, we were always confident we could match a Championship team. 

“So, it was then that we thought, ‘Wow, we’re only one game away from Hampden so it has been spurned upon us. We haven’t had that big shock result yet. 

“We haven’t been in good form to be fair. Saturday’s win at Alloa was massive, not just because it confirmed second place but also because it reminded us of what we’re capable of. 

“Inverness are coming in on good form but it’s a semi-final at Hampden and form goes out the window. 

“In Scotland, you get so used to playing the same teams all the time. The weekend was the sixth time we’ve played Alloa this year. 

“But we’ve not played Inverness this year so that makes it even more of a unique game. This isn’t a side we know that much about.” 

Whatever happens at the weekend, the Bairns’ primary aim this season has got to be earning promotion back to the Championship via the play-offs.  

Donaldson added: “We could be in a much worse position. Fighting relegation is much more stressful than going for promotion. 

“There are different pressures involved but there’s no doubt it’s a lot better place to be in when you’re hoping to go up rather than the games I was involved in last year, when you were just petrified about going down.”