David Watson admits he’s desperate to play at Hampden with Kilmarnock.

The 19-year-old is looking forward to today’s Scottish Cup quarter-final tie at Pittodrie, as Killie aims to make it four wins out of four against Aberdeen this season.

Derek McInnes’ side looks slight favourites for the game with Neil Warnock failing to win any of his six matches so far since taking over from Barry Robson. One of those encounters was at Rugby Park a fortnight ago, with Corrie Ndaba and Matty Kennedy scoring in a dominant afternoon for the hosts.

The carrot of reaching a showpiece semi-final at Hampden is dangling in front of both teams come lunchtime, and Watson believes he and his teammates have the big performance required to help fulfil the dream of running out at the national stadium.

“I’ve never played at Hampden,” the teenager admitted. “I was in the squad for the semi-final last season but I didn’t make the bench. Hopefully this season we can go to Hampden and I’ll get to play there.

“I’ve been to watch Scotland games at Hampden. It’s the national stadium and every young Scottish kid dreams of playing there.

“That’s what you dream of, taking your family to Hampden and lifting a trophy, having a great day out with all the fans. Hopefully we can do it.”

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Killie got their first taste of a big day out in Mount Florida in over ten years last January as they took on Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic in the last four of the Viaplay Cup.

Watson hadn’t quite broken into McInnes’ first team at that point, with his impact on the starting XI coming towards the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

The Prestwick-lad was involved in first-team training though, so he remembers what the buzz was like in the lead-up to that occasion, despite wishing he’d made the bench that day.

The midfielder added: “I was only 17, so I wasn’t really too disappointed as I hadn’t played a proper game in the Premiership and I didn’t expect to.

“But it was a great experience to travel with the squad. It was against Celtic, so everyone was excited. Everyone was buzzing and hopefully, we can create that feeling again if we get to Hampden.

“The gaffer came in and said our aim is to win a trophy at this club and get top six this season. So I don’t see why we can’t. You look at the amount of times the gaffer has been at Hampden and he’s won a few trophies.

“That filters into the squad and gives us confidence. We know we can play for him and get to Hampden.”

Watson scored with a stunning strike during Killie’s last visit to the north east in early December. The Scotland Under-19 international produced a deft first touch to bring Kennedy’s cross out of the sky beautifully, before a swift turn and hit on the half volley, giving Kelle Roos no chance.

“It would be nice to do something similar but I don’t know if I’ll ever do that again,” he laughed. “It was a good finish. I’ll try to top it but it was a great feeling to score there.

“When we played Aberdeen at Rugby Park we came flying out the traps and even towards the end of the game I felt our fitness seemed better than theirs and we could have scored another three or four goals.”