Here’s a cheeky wee reblog following the draw for the First Round of the Petrofac Training Cup this afternoon.
First of all, let me say that The Clumpany was quite impressed with the ‘build up’ to the draw.
For what is (in the grand scheme of things) not the world’s biggest tournament, it was done rather well.
The competition’s Twitter account was enthusiastic and continually conveyed a sense of something very interesting about to happen.
The draw itself was done in a professional, no-nonsense manner and benefited from not having a Tanner or wooden Ogilvie-type figure looming and draining away any sense of charm or anticipation.
The overall impression was of a competition that knows what it is about and is very pleased indeed about it!
Scottish FA please take note!
And as for the draw itself…
Well it delivered a cracker!
Frankly, the English FA can (notwithstanding the money generated for good causes) shove their nearly-always sterile ‘curtain-raising’ Community Shield match.
Because Scotland has a properly interesting curtain-raiser to its domestic season!
A genuine contest with something at stake.
Hibs v Sevco on 25 July is a really tasty prospect.
Along with St Mirren, this pair are expected to be battling it out for promotion to the Premiership this season.
The tie provides an immediate opportunity to ‘put down a marker’ and gain some confidence before the league even begins.
Hibs have been steadily strengthening over the summer (without much fanfare) and it will be fascinating to see how they come out of the traps.
If they can reduce the inconsistency that bedevilled them last season they could be very difficult to beat over a full campaign.
The tie will also be the first opportunity for Challenge Cup veterans Sevco to show how far the twin blessings of Dave King’s war chest AND the managerial genius of the Warbmeister have transformed their fortunes.
If Hibs blow Sevco away, it could herald the start of an attritional season of unrelenting struggle for the Ibrox side.
But if Sevco win – even narrowly – it could give them the early momentum that they failed to generate last season.
It would also (of course) cause the media to swoon at the feet of Comrade Warb, and enter into a frenzied round of upbeat reporting that might just cause the universe to collapse.
It may ‘only’ be a First Round tie in the Challenge Cup, but if you like your football to have meaning, and to be a spectacle, Hibs v Sevco isn’t a bad curtain-raiser to the season at all!
The publicity is gearing up and the Big Day is almost upon us!
Monday 29 June will see the draw made for the First Round of the Petrofac Training Cup!
Before The Clumpany goes any further, let me just say that I am a genuine fan of the competition (and not just because it’s football, and it’s sometimes on the TV…).
Regular readers will know that I am a big fan of the domestic game in all it’s glory and craziness, and loathe those that try to do it down!
As with the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in England, the Challenge Cup gives sides who don’t normally have much of the limelight a chance of glory!
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