Alex Cochrane says winning the Scottish Cup final with Hearts would be a career highlight.
The 22-year-old enjoyed promotion while on loan with Royale Union Saint-Gilloise last season and hopes to add to his career prizes at Hampden on Saturday, when Robbie Nielson’s men face Rangers.
“Playing at Hampden Park is a really exciting prospect,” said Cochrane, who helped Hearts finish third in the Scottish Premiership after joining them on loan from Albion last summer. “It’ll be a proud moment if I am involved, I am hoping that I will start the game.
“Just to walk out and play in front of thousands of people in a major cup final is going to be a special moment and something that I will remember forever, especially at an early stage in my career. It’s exciting to have this opportunity.
“Winning it would be the best moment of my career. I am hopeful for more experiences like this, because I know they don’t come around very often, so I want this to be the first of many.
“Getting promoted with Union last season was a great achievement, but this would top it because the Scottish Cup is massive. It’s a chance to win silverware and it’s been a while (2012) since Hearts have won the competition. We’re looking forward to it.”
The left-back is aware that Hearts go into the tie as the underdog, but hopes that will play into their hands.
“It’s one game and anyone can turn up and win, that’s the beauty of it. We’re backing ourselves to give it a good shot. Rangers are in the final of the Europa League on Wednesday, so that might play a role too.”
The pressure of a Cup final might be a new feeling for Cochrane, but he’s hoping to call on his previous big game experiences with Union and Hearts.
“In Scotland the supporters expect you to win, especially in the derby against Hibs. But the most important thing is to play the game and not the occasion and make sure it doesn’t get the better of you. If you win it’s something that you and the supporters will cherish forever but it’s important not to get ahead of yourself.”