10th April 2010
Scottish Cup Semi Final
Hampden Park, Glasgow
Celtic 0-2 Ross County
As we begin the countdown to one of the clubs most famous wins, we have a range of interviews and features looking at the day the Staggies put themselves firmly on the Scottish Football map.
We sat down with Staggies striker from that day, Andrew Barrowman to re-live that sensational Scottish Cup run.
Many people saw this cup run as Ross County placing themselves on the Scottish Football map, would you agree with this?
Absolutely, I think people knew we had a talented squad and people were very complimentary about the club in general but the Scottish Cup run really put the spotlight on the club and the players individually. I have to be honest, before I came up to meet with the club prior to signing I perhaps didn't realise just how well run the club actually was. The club had done remarkably well to progress from Highland League to where they were but I think this amazing cup run enabled the club to really kick on and establish themselves as a strong member of Scottish football.
How did things change for yourself and the team following the semi-final result against Celtic and the lead up to the final?
As a squad there was a lot of focus on us, the attention we received from the media was night and day compared to what we had been used to. Press conferences used to consist of the usual well-kent faces of local reporters, now suddenly we had press guys travelling up from Edinburgh and Glasgow to conduct interviews with us on a daily basis. I remember the pre-Cup final press conference having to be moved to the hospitality suites as so many people had turned up. In terms of the players individually, so called bigger teams from higher levels were starting to take notice of us as well, every game there would be a load of scouts there watching, it was testament to the quality of the squad that had been assembled.
This was the clubs first major cup final, it must have been an honour to play your part in such a monumental part of the clubs history?
In remains to this day one of my proudest achievements in life not just of my footballing career, the happiness we shared as a group of players and perhaps more importantly the good times we enjoyed with everyone connected to the Ross County family will live long in my memory. The club have gone on to create some further incredible milestones in their history but what we achieved back in 2010 will in my opinion remain right up there with the best of them forever more.
Given how different things were back in 2010, how big an achievement was it for Ross County to go on that journey?
Life goes on and clubs as well as players evolve but to do what we did as a group in 2010 was really something special. As I mentioned earlier, the squad had been assembled from players who had already experienced disappointment in their careers, which by the way I think was a deliberate ploy. For us to come together, managed by a very young manager starting out in his managerial career as well, and to go toe-to-toe with some of the biggest clubs in Scottish football and beat them on he biggest stage was truly remarkable. The club has grown and are now seen by most as an established Premiership club, with an infrastructure to match but back then we didn't have that. We were a group of players and club in general out to prove a point to everyone and let me tell you, we had a good time doing it! One of the biggest disappointments I have in my career is not going on to win the cup that year, for whatever reason we didn't play anywhere near our levels in the final and we were beaten by a really good Dundee United side. It doesn't take away from what we achieved that year but it would have been great to put a trophy in the cabinet to cement our place in the clubs history.
There were some big characters in the squad back then, Michael Gardyne, Martin Scott, to name a couple, what was the dressing room like in those days?
Listen we had some extremely talented players in that dressing room but our biggest strength was that we were all really good mates, we looked forward to going to our 'work' everyday. We worked hard but we played hard as well, whether that be in and around the club on a daily basis or at night when a load of us would descend on each others houses. We enjoyed each others company, we still do, we regularly meet up for nights out or whatever. The laughs and jokes we shared everyday made it a really enjoyable time for everyone, people might say "its easier to enjoy yourself when your winning games" but I actually think we were successful because we were all so happy off the pitch not the other way around. We had talent but our biggest strength was our trust and believe in each other, i remember the night before the Celtic game in the team hotel, as a group we genuinely believed we could go to Hampden the next day and beat one of the best teams in the country. Its easy to say that now but we hand on heart knew we could beat them, that was how special that that particular dressing room was. I've been in other dressing rooms where you believed you could get results but not like that, not like that 2010 team, they were unique!