Callum Davidson has welcomed the mouth-watering prospect of supporters attending the Scottish Cup final — before joking that the decision might ruin St Johnstone’s Hampden hot streak.
News emerged on Tuesday afternoon that UEFA were amenable to a limited number of fans attending the showpiece event against Hibernian following a Scottish FA request.
It had been thought that the ongoing renovation work to ready the national stadium for hosting Euro 2020 games would render that infeasible for the May 22 fixture.
However, at least 500 spectators will now be permitted — and the Scottish FA have asked the Scottish Government for permission to increase the number above that baseline figure.
“We’ve done alright so far this year without supporters, so I’m not sure I’d bring them back through the door,” laughed Davidson.
Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth. Too many ‘magic moments’ at Hampden have already been lost to the Saints faithful, who watched their side lift the Betfred Cup in February in their homes, on Premier Sports.
That stirring demolition of Hibs in the semi; Shaun Rooney’s dominating header to see off Livingston and secure silverware; Zander Clark’s heroics against St Mirren on Sunday and Glenn Middleton’s firecracker free-kick. All deserved an audience.
Should St Johnstone actually complete this most incredible of cup doubles — a 10,000/1 shot before a ball was kicked — then it is only right that a handful of supporters are there to see it; golden tickets in hand.
“It [fans in attendance] has definitely been the only thing missing this season,” continued Davidson. “As a player, you want to be the best you can be — a success — and you want to help the supporters enjoy themselves and have some good times.
“St Johnstone don’t get there very often so it’s a real shame that it has been missing.
“We have felt our support from afar so it would be great to get them close up and enjoy the magic moments with them.”
Regardless of how many supporters are in the stand, Davidson’s focus will remain on the challenge posed by Hibs and how to out-wit Jack Ross at the national stadium — however, he reckons it will have more effect on those out on the pitch.
“The players are the ones that can feel the support more,” added Davidson. “I think it’s massive for them; that encouragement.
“You do get a bit of stick now-and-then, so that will also come back, but that’s part of being a football player and it will be great for both sets of fans, players and staff.”
Davidson added: “Not much will change from the League Cup in the sense that it’s still a major trophy — it will still be as special — but it’s better when people are there to shout about it!”