Jason Kerr is adamant St Johstone’s belated Betfred Cup celebrations will prove to be worth the wait.
However, the McDiarmid Park captain has turned his attention to ensuring he is clutching two trophies in front of the adoring masses when that glorious day in Perth comes.
Kerr became just the second Saints skipper in history to lead his side to major silverware when they defeated Livingston 1-0 in February, following in the legendary footsteps of Scottish Cup-winner Dave Mackay.
Yet, the ongoing global pandemic ensured it was a peculiar — albeit entirely understandable — experience. The match was played out at an empty Hampden while Kerr was not even able to toast the triumph with his family.
While those parties have been postponed rather than cancelled, Kerr cannot wait to luxuriate in the afterglow of that memorable victory.
“I’ll definitely appreciate the celebration a lot more,” said Kerr. “It’s been a year now since lockdown and I can’t wait to get out there and have a drink and a party with the fans, my friends and family.
“When that day comes, we will really enjoy it — and I hope it’s sooner rather than later.
“I couldn’t even celebrate with my mum, my brother or any of my friends. That has been tough.
“Of course, I know I’m in a privileged position where I can go to my job and play football every day — so I can’t be too down about the situation — but it would have been brilliant to celebrate properly. But there will be a time and a place.”
An absolute bullet header from Jason Kerr 😍#SJFCLive
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) January 23, 2021
Perhaps due to the strange circumstances of the showpiece, or the sheer scale of the achievement; being a cup-winning captain has only just started to truly sink in for Kerr.
Legendary status at the age of 24 is not bad going.
“Our schedule hasn’t been quite so mad in the last couple of weeks, so I’ve finally had time to think about it,” continued Kerr. “To be only the second captain in our history to lift a cup is amazing.
“It’s something I’ll never forget and I’d love to do it again this season.
“A few people have stopped me in Tesco to talk about the game and I was sent a few congratulations cards, which was really nice. You don’t realise how much it means, especially when the fans aren’t there and you can’t see them. It’s only started to sink in the past few weeks.”
With two trophies in six years, the Perth Saints are getting greedy. Even the prospect of Rangers or Celtic in the subsequent round cannot quell the belief emanating from the club.
“To already have one trophy fills us with a lot of confidence,” Kerr adds. “To win that was a massive achievement for us. And now we’ve had a taste, we want to do it again.
“We know it would be Rangers or Celtic next, but in the last two games we’ve played them, we’ve played well. We were unlucky not to get a result against Celtic at home and at Celtic Park.
“We played well against Rangers at Ibrox too. I’d feel like we’d have a good enough team in the dressing room to beat them.”
Kerr is, however, loath to look beyond the challenge posed by Clyde and his respect for the lower leagues in Scotland is not mere lip service.
He cut his teeth during two campaigns on loan with East Fife and actually won the 2015/16 League 2 title at the Bully Wee’s Broadwood home, with a 0-0 draw proving enough to secure glory.
So, he is acutely aware of the quality below the top-flight and the fearless attitude with which Clyde will attack the fixture.
“We always take a professional approach to any team,” added Kerr. “You saw that in the Betfred Cup. Nothing will change going into Saturday. Clyde are a good team and if we don’t play as well as we can, then it’ll be a banana skin.
“I’ve been on the other side of this situation — playing for East Fife against Premiership sides — so I know what it’s like. They’ll have a game-plan to stop us playing and we’ll need to be at our best to exploit what we want to do.
39 | Goal East Fife
Naysmith's free kick from the right-hand touchline is met by Jason Kerr who heads the ball past Hart pic.twitter.com/jKptx35pks
— East Fife FC (@EastFifeFC) April 4, 2020
“I don’t envy them playing Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday — I think it would be hard for any full-time player, never mind a part-time team — but they’ll get full respect and, if we play like we have this season, we’ll do well.”