Dumbarton defender Craig Barr is fully-focused on achieving a life-long ambition of reaching a cup-final – and there is no better time than the present as the 30-year-old prepares to face Welsh club TNS in this evening’s Irn-Bru Cup semi-final.
Talking ahead of training on Thursday night, Barr said:
“It is definitely a different experience, anyway – you can say that again! It has been a different set-up over the last few years and going away down to Wales to play a match on a Saturday night at half past 7 is not something I have ever done in my career; I have ticked a lot of boxes over the years, but, this one is certainly a new challenge!
Most importantly though, it is a chance for Dumbarton to get to a final: no matter what people think of certain cup competitions, I think for us as players, as well as a club the size of Dumbarton, it’d be massive. We are going to go into the match with the respect it deserves: we will give TNS respect as well, but, we will be going all-guns blazing to try get into the final as an opportunity like this doesn’t come around often.”
“No excuses” insists the former Raith Rovers defender despite the long journey facing the part-timers this weekend.
“As a player, it [travelling] is one thing I have got used to since joining Dumbarton. I’m driving through to Dumbarton every second week, we can be driving to Glasgow or Brechin, so, I am used to it by now; 2 or 3 times a week I am driving up and down the country, so, Wales won’t be any different for us. It was a matter of weeks after both finals that I ended up joining Gretna and then Queen of the South, so, I have caught onto the aftermath of the wave of what it is like having reached a final, even though I unfortunately wasn’t apart of it, which would have been a good experience. I don’t think I have ever participated in a final, so, it is definitely something I want to be a part of – I want to reach a final.
We are expecting a difficult game; the gaffer [Stevie Aitken] and Durranty [Ian Durrant – assistant manager] were at TNS last Friday night doing their homework: they have spoken about them to us on Tuesday night and I am sure we will speak about them tonight [Thursday] again too. They have got good players who have played at a decent level, so, we certainly know it is going to hard, but, we fully believe we can hold our own and get back to the way we were playing two or three months ago. A win could really give the whole club a lift, we just need that wee bit of confidence as once we have that back, we will be fine. It is in our hands – the gaffer and Durranty do all they can off the park to help us: it comes down to us guys out there on the park and we need to start taking some responsibility to allow us to get back into winning ways.”