Brechin City will be back in the national spotlight on Monday while hoping to secure a potentially-lucrative Scottish Cup tie – and are inviting fans of other clubs to join them.
City are preparing to host West of Scotland League Premier Division side Darvel at Glebe Park, with the third round Scottish Cup match being broadcast live by the BBC.
Both clubs will receive a fee of £3,500 from the national broadcaster and, with Brechin liable to split the gate fee, bosses hope to draw a bumper crowd with a unique offer to supporters of other football clubs.
Brechin chairman Kevin Mackie explained: “We’ve put on some incentives to get the fans there. We’ve subsidised the season ticket holders, they get in for nothing.
“We’re also inviting other fans who support teams to come out and they can get in for £5 per head. All they need to do is show their season ticket at the gate.”
While the added TV income will be a boost to the Highland League club, Mackie is also excited by the prospect of a live game at Glebe Park.
“It’s the coverage the club will get across the world, with people watching. Brechin fans will be able to tune in no matter where they are,” he said.
“It will give us a bit of representation and great coverage, which money can’t buy,” he said.
“Hopefully, the added attraction with it being on the television will bring as many fans out as we’d hope for.”
Fourth round dream tie
Looking to the game itself, Mackie remains cautious about opponents Darvel.
Although the East Ayrshire outfit sit in a lesser league than the hosts, they are managed by former Dundee striker Sean Higgins and contain a number of former SPFL players, such as ex-Forfar midfielder Jordan Kirkpatrick and ex-Brechin forward Ross Caldwell.
Mackie revealed that Brechin’s club advisor Craig Levein travelled to Darvel to see them beat Gretna 2008 4-0 at the weeked.
Should Brechin win on Saturday, it could set up a glamour tie in tie fourth round when the Premiership teams enter.
That is a prospect Brechin are relishing.
Mackie said: “I think it will be a really close game. Darvel’s ambition is to get out of the league they are in but they’ve got some experienced players and they won comfortably on Saturday.
“I think that’s everyone’s dream is to draw a big side [in the fourth round], particularly the non-league clubs.
“We can only dream of beating Darvel and take one game at a time.”
Monday’s game kicks off at 7.45pm and will be broadcast on BBC Scotland (Sky channel 115, Freeview channel 9).