ANDY DORMAN - PLAYER OF THE ROUND
Andy Dorman’s creativity in his side’s 3-0 Quarter Final win over Motherwell at New St. Mirren Park was rewarded when he was named as the Co-operative Insurance Cup Player of the Round. Dorman set up the Paisley side’s first goal with a cross that Michael Higdon nodded in and then a surging run from deep in his own half saw the 27-year-old send in a wicked ball that Stephen Craigan turned into his own net to seal the win.
It was the second time a St. Mirren player has been recognised for their performance with striker Billy Mehmet earning the accolade in the First Round with Dorman saying, “I am delighted to win this award although I never scored. Billy certainly deserved his award for his five goals against East Stirling, he was on fire that day.”
Dorman said of the performance against The Steelmen, “We played really well that night and it was great to get picked as there would have been a few St. Mirren candidates from that game. I was delighted to help set up two goals although you always like to score yourself. I did get one earlier in the competition to knock out Kilmarnock in injury time so I think it would be fair to say this has been a good competition for me this season.”
Dorman, who played in a couple of Cup Finals when he plyed his trade in America, is looking to add a Scottish Final to his CV saying, “The Semi-Final should be a great game with a great atmosphere. The team has been doing well and we are really looking forward to facing Hearts. It is a massive game in the club’s history as we have the chance to get to a national Cup Final and that does not happen too often in your career. This is a one off game and form good or bad goes out of the window and I am sure St. Mirren will battle for everything on the night.”
The Saints will need Dorman at his creative best if they are to have any joy in breaking down a resolute Hearts defence with the Chester born player, who was actually on the bench for Wales when they defeated Scotland 3-0 in November, saying, “We know this will be a very tough game and when we played Hearts recently in Edinburgh, we did not get the opportunity to create many chances. We have to be able to do that to progress from a very tough game.”
JOHN FLECK - YOUNG PLAYER OF THE ROUND
Rangers’ 18-year-old attacking midfielder John Fleck was on top form when the Ibrox club saw off the strong challenge of First Division leaders Dundee 3-1 at Dens Park in their Quarter Final tie and he was rewarded with The Co-operative Insurance Cup Young Player of the Round to mark his performance.
Rangers had gone in front when Steven Whittaker headed in before another precocious young talent, Leigh Griffiths, equalised with a thumping free-kick before half time. In the second half, Dundee defender Gary MacKenzie headed into his own net to put Walter Smith’s side back in front and Fleck completed the job when he cashed in on Nacho Novo creating havoc in the Dens Park side’s defence.
Fleck was asked what he made of the exciting Quarter Final tie and he said, "It was a great night for me and I really enjoyed the game although it was tough as Dundee played well. It was not just about me though, the whole team played well and it was a terrific result as Dundee are flying high in the First Division.”
Dundee made it far from easy for Rangers with Fleck advising, “Dundee are a very good team and made it difficult for us but that made the result even more pleasing. To go to Dens Park and get a win with so many players missing that night says a lot about the character in our squad. I enjoyed playing up front in the second-half as that is my natural position and Nacho Novo did really well to set me up for my goal."
Fleck burst onto the Scottish football scene two years ago as a 16-year-old and he is now seeing colleagues from the Youth ranks at Ibrox joining him in the first team with Danny Wilson and Jordan McMillan being part of the winning team in the last round at Dens Park.
There looks to be more youngsters on their way with Fleck commenting, “Danny and Jordan did really well considering it was their debuts. Danny is getting bigger and stronger and he has already played in Old Firm games and the Champions League. Jordan is also a talented player and I am sure his loan spell at Queen of the South will benefit his career. There are a lot of talented young players at the club and players like Andrew Little and Jamie Ness regularly train with the first team and are on the bench.”
Fleck became the youngest ever player to play in a Cup Final in Britain when he came on as a substitute against Queen of the South in the Scottish Cup Final in May, 2008 and he would love another big event at the National Stadium saying, "It would be fantastic to play in another Hampden Cup Final but St. Johnstone will be a difficult game for us and we will need to play well to progress."