BILLY MEHMET - PLAYER OF THE ROUND
Billy Mehmet’s love affair with this season’s Co-operative Insurance Cup has continued with the London born striker adding the Player of the Round for the Semi-Final stage to the seven goals he has scored in the competition this season.
Mehmet won a similar award in the First Round of The Co-operative Insurance Cup when he scored a fantastic five against East Stirlingshire when the Buddies started their season with a 6-3 win.
Despite his five goal haul, this award means more with Mehmet saying, “When the ball hit the back of the Hearts net, it was the greatest feeling I have had in my career.”
The Paisley striker was asked to describe his goal and he remembered it in detail saying, “Their goalkeeper had thrown the ball out to their full back however, Hugh Murray closed him down and he got the ball to Jack Ross. He laid it into my path and despite the pitch being bobbly, I had to hit it first time. I knew as soon as I hit it that their goalkeeper was going to have to pull off some save to keep that one out.”
The striker will settle for an ordinary goal in this game saying, “I don’t care if it is a tap in this time to win The Co-operative Insurance Cup. I would settle for that and we will be going all out to create an upset.”
The 26-year-old began his career at West Ham United before moving to Scotland to join Dunfermline Athletic in 2003 and he was an unused substitute when Dunfermline reached the Scottish Cup Final in 2004 however, he is hoping to be involved from the start in this game.
Mehmet said, “I was a substitute for Dunfermline but I am looking forward to this game as I have a better chance of being involved from the start. I have family coming up from London and it would be great to be part of a winning side with everyone in attendance.”
Cup competitions have suited Mehmet this season with ten goals from his haul of thirteen for the season coming in knock-out games including a hat-trick in the Active Nation Scottish Cup against Second Division Alloa Athletic in a 3-1 Paisley win.
Mehmet, who famously scored the penalty to knock Celtic out of the Scottish Cup last season, commented, “I have no idea why my record is so much better in cup competitions than in the League. I would settle for not scoring in the Final and St. Mirren winning, make no mistake about that.”
DANNY WILSON - YOUNG PLAYER OF THE ROUND
oung Rangers defender Danny Wilson has emerged over the past year from the youth set-up at Rangers and it was no surprise when he was voted as The Co-operative Insurance Cup Young Player of the Round for his efforts in the Semi-Final against St. Johnstone at a snowy Hampden Park.
Rangers defeated the men from Perth 2-0 thanks to first half goals from Steve Davis and Lee McCulloch with Wilson playing for the full 90 minutes at the National Stadium and if selected on Sunday, he has the chance to add to the Scottish Cup winners’ medal he won as an unused substitute against Falkirk at the end of last season.
Wilson made his top team debut in this season’s Co-operative Insurance Cup in a tricky away tie at Dundee that Rangers won 3-1 and he has remained in the first team pool ever since including getting a taste of action in Europe.
The 18-year-old said, “It was great to play against Dundee at Dens Park and it is fantastic to be part of the first team squad. I am training and playing with top players every day and my game will only benefit as a result. David Weir and Madjid Bougherra are great defenders and I am very fortunate to be learning from them.”
The Livingston born youngster added, “It has been a good season for me and I have played in the Champions League and in an Old Firm derby so I am really happy with that.”
The match against Derek McInnes’ side was Wilson’s first ever Semi-Final and he was delighted to be acknowledged as the best youngster on show saying, “I enjoyed the game and it was a good result for us on a tough night and I am really pleased to be recognised in this way. The weather that night was pretty bad but we managed to get the victory and all the players are looking forward to the Final.”
Captain Weir is a huge influence on the defender with the 21 year age gap certainly not a generation gap between the pair with Wilson saying, “Playing with Davie Weir has also been fantastic for me. He has been at the top for so many years now and is a quality player. When you see what he has achieved in the game and the way he carries himself on and off the pitch, he is definitely someone I look up to a lot.”
Weir keeps a special eye out for his protégé with Wilson adding, “In training, he always tries to help me and talk me through different situations and I know how I am lucky to be learning from someone like him.”
Wilson was recently called into Billy Stark's Under-21 side for Scotland’s match with Azerbaijan that ended 2-2 and although he never kicked a ball in anger, he enjoyed the experience advising, “It was disappointing not to play but I was delighted to be part of the squad. I am still young and learning the game and I just need to keep working hard to progress.”