Beith Juniors FC: My Site News: Daily Record Article: Derek McCulloch Interview

Friday, February 13
Daily Record Article: Derek McCulloch Interview

DEREK McCULLOCH will tomorrow bid to deal a knock-out blow to a side desperately close to his heart.

The Beith stopper makes a Citylink Scottish Cup last-16 return to Auchinleck Talbot where he spent six years searching for success in the competition.

And after twice failing at the semi-final stage, McCulloch hopes to go one better with the Bellsdale Park club where he has returned for a second spell.

The 36-year-old said: "I have fond memories of my time with Talbot but losing twice in the semi-finals left a bitter taste.

"I had only just joined when Tayport beat us then we lost to Renfrew in my last season there.

"The West of Scotland Cup and Scottish Cup were the only two trophies I didn't win in my time with Talbot and with the quality that was in the squad back we should really have won them both.

"But I am now at Beith and my sole aim is to help us knock Auchinleck out of the competition.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my years at Beechwood Park but it was a long time ago and I have moved on.

"I intended to hang up my boots after leaving Kilwinning. I had a few offers but wasn't interested.

"Then Beith president John Boal asked me if I wanted to come back and I jumped at the chance .

"I spent four years at Bellsdale Park last time and loved every minute of playing for the club.

"There aren't many teams I would have come back into the game for but Beith are a different kettle of fish.

"It's a fantastic club with terrific people and I feel I have a new lease of life.

"In my opinion, this is the best squad I have ever been involved with and, without tempting fate I see no reason why we can't go all the way and lift the Scottish Cup."

McCulloch knows the challenge that lies ahead in meeting Auchinleck on their own patch and hopes his team-mates can blank out the hostile reception they will receive from the home support.

He said: "The Talbot supporters have always been fanatical about their club and we have to make sure we concentrate on what is happening on the field rather than off it.

"I have been back a few times with other clubs and there is a minority I get stick from but it's water off a duck's back.

"All I care about is beating Talbot and going through to the next round with Beith.

"A big loss for us will be the absence of Kenny McLean who has struck up a terrific partnership with Andy Reid in attack.

"However, that means someone else will get their chance and the gaffer, Johnny Millar, has options in terms of who to bring in.

"Whoever plays will know they will have to be at their best if we are to succeed against a good Auchinleck side."


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