Cupar Hearts: Boss Sean Simpson dreaming of winning Scottish Amateur Cup after reaching last four

Cupar Hearts are just two matches away from becoming the first Fife-based team to win football’s Only Sports Scottish Amateur Cup for 34 years.
Cupar Hearts boss Sean Simpson celebrates with his players after qualifying for Scottish Amateur Cup semi-finals (Pic Hayley McHugh)Cupar Hearts boss Sean Simpson celebrates with his players after qualifying for Scottish Amateur Cup semi-finals (Pic Hayley McHugh)
Cupar Hearts boss Sean Simpson celebrates with his players after qualifying for Scottish Amateur Cup semi-finals (Pic Hayley McHugh)

Having fought back from a goal down to see off Tolcross Thistle 2-1 at home thanks to goals by Liam Kelly and Ryan Gray in a quarter-final tie on March 4, Sean Simpson’s Duffus Park outfit are now looking forward to a semi-final against East Kilbride Thistle Colts at Hamilton’s New Douglas Park on Thursday, April 13 with a 7.30pm kick-off.

Victory in that match would land Cupar a final spot against either Steins Thistle or East Kilbride Rolls Royce – who meet on Monday, April 17 – at Hampden Park later this spring to set-up the possibility of a dream cup triumph for gaffer Simpson.

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"It would be fantastic to win the trophy,” the 38-year-old told the Herald and Citizen. “It would certainly be the biggest moment in my career, playing and management.

"I was only ever lucky enough to make it to the quarter-finals myself as a player.

"I was at Glenrothes Juniors for years and I remember people were still talking about them winning the 1975 Scottish Junior Cup 30 years on.

"I know how much something like that means to people and players at a club.

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"If we could win the Scottish Amateur Cup it would be massive.

"It’s something that stays in place forever and I think we’d be the first team in Fife to win it for 30-odd years so that in itself would be a massive achievement.

“I think it’s 16 years since Cupar Hearts last got to the Scottish Amateur Cup final – a 1-0 loss to Drumchapel United in 2007 – so it’s not often that it happens.

"We need to take it one game at a time but to win it would be a dream come true. It would be fantastic.”

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Cupar are currently third in the RJM Sports Kingdom of Fife AFA Smith & Grant Premier League and have seen off favoured sides like St Patrick’s FP and Oban Saints in previous rounds of the Scottish Amateur Cup.

So they look to have a good chance of beating Glasgow & District Saturday Morning AFL Premier Division outfit East Kilbride Thistle Colts in the upcoming semi-final.

Simpson said: "There’s a bit of a buzz and a bit of excitement among our players to get this far.

“We’ve been on a terrific run of results. The Scottish Cup draws are always tough.

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"There’s always some big teams from the West and we’ve drawn them but we want to try and pit ourselves against the best.

"If you are going to go far in the competition you’re going to have to beat the best teams to get there.

"The carrot is to try and get to Hampden which would be fantastic.

“I don’t know much about East Kilbride Thistle Colts other than I’ve had a look at what league they play in.

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"With the other three teams we’re the same. We tried to do a wee bit of research to see who we could potentially get but when you get to this stage there are no easy ties.”

Simpson, who played in central midfield at amateur level for Kettle United and the Scotland amateur team, then starred for East Stirling, Arbroath, Forfar, Glenrothes Juniors, Kennoway Juniors, Glenrothes Juniors (again) and AM Soccer Amateurs, where he was also manager before joining Cupar Hearts in 2020.

His latest game in charge of Cupar Hearts saw the team win 3-1 at home to Strathmiglo United in Saturday’s League Cup encounter thanks to goals by Lewis McGlashan (2) and Richie Lawson.

This Saturday sees Simpson’s team host Kirkcaldy YMCA in a league game which kicks off at 2pm.

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