St Johnstone skipper Dave Mackay is hoping he can lead his side to Europa League success against Rosenborg to help celebrate the recent birth of his son Callum.
The popular “Cup-tie” and his fiance Laura had endured a year of heartache following the tragic death of another child, who was stillborn.
Now, though, the couple are delighted to be adjusting to life with a new baby in their home once again.
Mackay said: “My wife had a wee boy three weeks ago called Callum. It’s not great timing is it pre-season and babies? It’s worth it though.
“It’s like going back to it all over again as my daughter is 11. You just forget everything.”
He added: “You joke about the sleepless nights but of course you are happy to take them after what we’ve been through.
“Bad things happen. You just have to move on as best as you can. It put football in perspective. At the end of the day it is a job, something I love doing but it is only a job and family comes way above that.”
That job now includes leading Saints on their latest Europa League adventure, with Mackay looking to overcome the disappointment of last year’s tie against Eskisehirspor.
The captain missed the game in Turkey because of illness and was only fit enough to take a place on the bench in the second leg.
Mackay said: “I’m really looking forward to it. We’ve not had too many European campaigns as a club so to do it in consecutive years is fantastic.
“Personally, it’s great that I’m fit and available for the first leg as I missed the game in Turkey last year.
“It was disappointing after going through a long, hard season and earning the right to play in Europe only to be ruled out.
“I managed 20 minutes in the return leg but that’s when the game was finished.”
Mackay is hoping that Rosenborg could be lulled into a false sense of security against Saints.
“We’ll respect Rosenborg they are a quality side who are unbeaten in the league this year. But we feel we are a decent side as well.
“We’ll be aware of their strengths but we won’t fear them. We’ll watch a few DVDs and the manager’s seen them a couple of times.
“It was harder last year against the Turks as we could only see wee bits of them on DVDs. We probably thought they were a better team than they actually were.
“At least this year, it’s a team we’ll know more about.”
He added: “I’d imagine they’ll think it’s going to be a walkover. They’re a well experienced European team that played in the Champions League for a number of years. Plus they are halfway through their season and we are just starting off.”
For Neil Robertson’s match report from Norway, see Friday’s Courier