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“You’ve got to dream. There is no point in playing football if you can’t dream about causing upsets.”
That’s exactly what Scottish League Two side Bonnyrigg Rose have been doing since they discovered their Scottish Cup journey – which started back in October – would continue at Pittodrie against Premiership heavyweights Aberdeen, says club captain Jonny Stewart.
The Midlothian club booked their spot in the fifth round for the first time with a memorable win against League One high-flyers Falkirk and celebrated as usual by belting out the lyrics to Newton Faulkner’s ‘Dream Catch Me’.
Dreams do not get much bigger than facing a top-flight side in their own backyard, never mind with the “extra added spice” of Saturday being interim manager Neil Warnock’s first home game in charge.
Rose have previous in pulling off cup shocks, not least in the last round – but no-one around New Dundas Park is under any illusions that this task is on a whole new scale.
“This is just a different level altogether,” manager Robbie Horn said. “We have had some great moments, but this just tops everything off.”
Among those great moments is a piece of history in the competition. Back in 2016, Adam Nelson’s 86th-minute winner against Dumbarton made Rose the first non-league club to knock out a team from the second tier in the history of the Scottish Cup.
That win set up a glamour fourth-round home tie against Hibernian, which was moved to Tynecastle. What followed was less enchanting, as Rose’s run ended with a 8-1 humbling. But, in the stands, that afternoon is still spoken of fondly.
That is something the squad, because of their close relationship with the fans, are aware of – and why they want to ensure the next big day out for the ‘Rosey Posey’ is even more enjoyable.
No-one wants that more than hometown hero, local high school teacher and star striker Keiran McGachie.
The 31-year-old cannot walk in the streets without someone waving, chatting or sometimes criticising his most recent performance – but he wouldn’t change any of it.
“I am so proud, sometimes you have to pinch yourself,” said the former Motherwell youth player, who has scored more than 100 goals for Rose.
“It’s a massive game and I think we deserve it. The crowd will be big, and that’s what we are looking for, it’s a day out for the fans.
“People think it’s all positive but I get a lot of the negatives as well! ‘Big man, you were rubbish today!’ – but that’s just part of the humour and what I enjoy.
“I don’t think the opposition fans like me, but at least the home fans do… sometimes!”
In the eight supporter buses and counting that are making the journey north, many will have enjoyed the celebrations with the team that continued long into the night following the victory against Falkirk.
McGachie is hoping another night of celebration will unfold this weekend.
“Getting the new guys out and about to show them what the local pubs are like is important,” he added.
“We enjoy it, there is nowhere else I’d rather spend my money, and the fans love it too, they really enjoy being around us. We’re just normal guys.
“Sometimes the pubs are a bit like going back into the ’70s, with borderline black and white tellies, but it’s always a good night and it’s nice to celebrate right in the heart of the community. That’s what we are, a community club.”
On such nights, it’s a guarantee that ‘Dream Catch Me’ is roared around every establishment. Its origin remains a mystery, though.
“I’ve been here 10 years, and I couldn’t really tell you,” added captain Stewart. “It’s just always been here, and I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon.”