Ross Curle isn't your average Scottish club rugby player.

Instead, this man already has sampled professional rugby in Italy, and currently is in the third year of studying for a degree in International Business at Strathclyde University. When I caught up with him yesterday, he was in the library, poring over arcane volumes in pursuit of fresh nuggets of knowledge. Yet, when the Scottish Cup final commences, Curle will be doing his best to help Ayr create their own place in the archives by becoming the first Caledonian organisation to win the domestic trophy in three consecutive seasons.

By their own lofty standards, the 2011-12 campaign hasn't been one to crow about. They missed out on a place in the next British & Irish Cup draw, and struggled to cope with losing such influential performers as Damien Kelly and Mark Bennett. Yet, as Curle declared, it is a measure of how the Ayr men have hit the heights that they will travel to Murrayfield with the backing of their vibrant community.

"In some respects, it has been a disappointing year, but we want to end it on a high, and we certainly don't want to make excuses for what has gone wrong in the last few months, but concentrate on doing our best to win the cup," said Curle, who was involved in their two previous final victories, over Melrose. "We know it will be tough, because Gala are a well-drilled, well-coached team with as strong a scrum as you would anticipate from a side with George Graham in charge. They also have a dangerous back three and we've already seen this year what they can do out wide.

"But we have plenty of players with the motivation and talent to succeed, as we have proved in recent seasons, and we are determined to show what we can do. The last time we met Gala [at Millbrae], we didn't start playing until about 30 minutes into the match, we were always playing catch-up, we had a man sent off, and I got a yellow card, so it was weird and we certainly don't want any repeat of that experience this weekend. Yet we still scored more tries than them, which should give us a bit of confidence."

Curle spoke quietly, but one sensed a burning appetite for revenge lurking beneath the surface of his mild-mannered exterior. Ayr may be in transition, but they possess quality personnel and a class act in Kenny Murray, their coach, and if it all clicks in Edinburgh, their opponents should beware. All in all, this is shaping up to be a classic confrontation.