ALI MCCANN was a St Johnstone youth team player when the Perth club lifted the Scottish Cup back in 2014. 

And after watching the final against Dundee United from the stands, the Northern Ireland international always hoped that one day he could play his part in a national trophy triumph. 

McCann will have the opportunity to cement his spot in a Betfred Cup final when St Johnstone meet Hibs in the last four of the competition on Saturday. 

And despite there being no fans in attendance, McCann knows just how much a cup final appearance would mean for the people of Perth after witnessing their joyous celebrations seven years ago.  

On his cup final memories, McCann recalled: “That was the end of my first year here and we all got to go along to the game. It was brilliant.  

“I know it is a different tournament but this is a national cup semi-final. If we can get anything like that it would be fantastic.  

“The photos from that final with United are all over the place here. So it would be amazing if we could go on to win this cup. That would be special for the club.  

“It would be brilliant to get a photo up there with the others. We have a semi-final to win first but even the thought of replicating the win of 2014 would be brilliant.”  

Saints go into Saturday’s semi after beating St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership and confidence is high that they can pull off a result against their Edinburgh opponents. 

McCann continued: “This will be the first time I have ever played at Hampden. I’ve never even been there as a spectator. It will be a good experience for everyone I’m sure.  

“We are all buzzing for it. It would be especially great for guys like Muzz and Liam (Craig) if we can get to the final.  

“They have been great servants over the years and they deserve all the plaudits they have got for breaking records at the club. It would be massive for everyone but especially them after missing out on the 2014 win.” 

On the threat of Hibs, McCann added: “Every time we have played Hibs it has been close. We should probably have beaten them at Easter Road in the 2-2 game.  

“And the game before that they won with a last-minute penalty.  We have matched them this season and hopefully we can beat them this time and reach the final.”