The ever-impressive Darren Randolph is looking for one last milestone in what has been a stunning debut season.
From European football to a trio of trips to Hampden, via a new clean-sheet record for Motherwell; the Irishman’s first season in Scottish football has been an eventful and hugely successful one.
And the former Charlton keeper has now set his sights on topping it all – by helping Motherwell lift their first trophy in 20 years, come Saturday.
The big stopper admits that it will be somewhat unlikely that he pops up with the winning goal, but he has set his sights on a match-winning performance between the sticks against the laudable firepower of Celtic.
“I’m delighted with how my season has gone so far, playing in Europe and having a couple of good Cup runs,” Randolph said, too modest to mention his own 19 clean sheets. “And I hope it ends well at the weekend.
“That’s the old cliché; the dream of playing in the final and scoring the winning goal. I suppose that’s not too likely, but I’ll be dreaming of stopping them – though maybe I could score the winning penalty if it goes that far!
“The big occasion is when the best players stand up and be counted, and I know that all of our boys will do that on Saturday. I give ourselves a great chance.”
If Randolph is required to play a blinder at the weekend then there is little doubt that he is up to the task. Indeed, his dazzling form has impressed none other than Italian football legend, and more importantly, Ireland boss, Giovanni Trapatonni.
The ‘Well custodian has been in the last couple of Irish squads, and was included again for the upcoming Carling Nations’ Cup ties.
But, while he is philosophic about his own hopes – “If I’m picked then I’ll do my best” – Randolph did express his surprise that none of his team-mates, particularly Jamie Murphy, have had similar honours.
Murphy, Clydesdale Bank Young Player of the Month for April, as well as Scottish Cup Player of the Round in the quarter- and semi-finals this year, was once again left out of the Scotland fold, and the Steelmen number one is puzzled by it.
“We were all surprised Jamie Murphy wasn’t called up to the Scotland squad,” Randolph confirmed. “In fact we were all surprised he wasn’t nominated for Young Player of the Year.
“I think he should have been in there. Hopefully he will use Saturday as a stage to say ‘I should be in there – pick me.’”
The 24-year old also took the opportunity – in front of a packed press corps, as Cup interest hits fever-pitch in North Lanarkshire – to confirm that he is absolutely fit to take his place in goal at the national stadium.
He missed out on the 4-0 defeat at Celtic Park, and had reportedly been struggling with a thigh strain – but it’s certainly not something that is hindering him now.
The Bray-born goalie confirmed: “I would have played on Sunday against Celtic if I was asked, but the gaffer thought it would be better if I rested up. But I was absolutely delighted for Lee [Hollis], he deserved that chance, and I was watching everything from the bench.
“There’s no doubt about my fitness – I am 100% fit and raring to go on Saturday.”