Football Academy

Hampden awaits | Youth Cup final preview

27th April 2022

It's the biggest game of the season for the Wee Jambos tonight as they travel to Hampden to face Rangers in the final of the Scottish FA Youth Cup.

Heart of Midlothian v Rangers

Scottish Youth Cup Final

Hampden Park

Kick Off: 7.45pm

Watch: live on the BBC Scotland channel from 7.30pm

Steven Naismith's team have a chance to bring the trophy back to Gorgie for the first time in 22 years, with Hearts falling short in our previous final appearance against Motherwell back in 2016.

Rangers are the current holders of the Youth Cup having beaten Celtic in the last final in 2019, with the competition put on ice for two years owing to the pandemic.

Everyone at the club is behind Naisy and the boys. Bring it home, lads.

The road to the final..

Hearts secured two comfortable victories in the early rounds of the competition; defeating East Kilbride 6-0 and Inverurie 2-0, before overcoming a sterner test against Dundee in Forfar - winning 2-0.

A semi-final showdown against Inverness Caledonian Thistle awaited the Wee Jambos at Tynecastle back in February, with the boys grinding out a gutsy 2-1 win over the Highlanders in wintry conditions.

 

Naisy's view...

Steven Naismith picked up a few trophies during his playing career, but his first medal came as a young player back at Kilmarnock in 2004.

The memories of getting your hands on silverware at an early stage of your career was a special feeling for Naisy, and it's one he's tried to impress on his young charges.

“That’s something for all the players involved to grasp and understand that feeling and then have that drive beyond the cup final to say ‘I want more of that’ at a higher level," he told the Scottish FA's website.

"It was the first trophy I won and the feeling was magical and I was fortunate enough to go on and win more trophies. 

“We’re very confident. There’s not been a game that we haven’t caused teams problems and games we’ve lost have been on individual mistakes or small margins so we’re definitely confident going into it.”

Opportunity knocks...

The Wee Jambos are blessed with talents within the ranks, with Hearts fans getting a taste of that recently when Makenzie Kirk was handed his senior debut by Robbie Neilson away to Ross County back in March.

Described by the manager as a 'natural finisher', Makenzie scored the second goal in the semi-final win over Inverness - adding to his strike in the previous round against Dundee. Makenzie's form on league business for the 18s has been just as prolific, and he memorably netted an injury-time winner against Celtic in a 3-2 thriller at Oriam.

Liam McFarlane is another man who has shined for the 18s this campaign; the towering goalkeeper has been a real prescene between the posts, producing quality saves with a real calmness. 

Rocco Friel and Bobby McLuckie provide energy and pace on the flanks, whilst the likes of Macaulay Tait and Luke Rathie bring strength and work-rate to the midfield. 

Looking to the past..

Hearts' last Youth Cup triumph was back in 2000 at Hampden. Coincidentally, the opposition that day was also Rangers - with the Jambos coming out on top as 5-3 winners.

The team also had a youthful Craig Gordon playing that day.

How to watch...

If you can't make it along to Hampden this evening, you can catch the game live on the BBC Scotland channel. Coverage starts at 7.30pm, with a 7.45 kick-off.

We'll also have live tweet coverage on our Twitter account. Keep across @JamTarts on Twitter for in-game updates, 

Tickets...

Tickets can be bought by clicking here.

Adult price - £8
U16s price - £3