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Wednesday 29th May 2024

Scottish League Cup Group Stage Draw - 1pm

🔴⚪️ Come on you Reds! ⚪🔴

Aberdeen's ex-ICT trio set sights on breaking Highland hearts in final

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Aberdeen's run to the Scottish League Cup final has captured the imagination of the city but for three players in particular Sunday's showpiece match will be extra special.


Dons stars Barry Robson, Adam Rooney and Jonny Hayes all played for opponents Inverness CT earlier in their careers and understand exactly what victory would mean for either side.


Robson helped the Highland club establish themselves in Scotland's professional setup, as the club won the Second Division championship in 1999.


His form in the First Division for Steve Patterson's side earned him a move to Dundee United in 2003 and saw the midfielder turn out for Celtic, Middlesbrough as well as Scotland.


However he insists there will be no room for sentiment when the teams take to the pitch at Parkhead.


Robson told STV: "When you move on, you have to move on and concentrate on the club you are playing for. It is a terrific club with some real nice people who deserve a lot of credit for what they have achieved for being a small club and not having a huge support.


"They've punched above their weight for a number of years but my main concentration is on Aberdeen and doing everything we can to lift the trophy."


Jonny Hayes arrived at the Caledonian Stadium in the summer of 2009 having spent the early part of his career in England's lower leagues.


His thrilling wing play saw him join Craig Brown's Dons in 2012 but after an underwhelming first term at Pittodrie, the Irishman has been revitalised under Derek McInnes.


And the 26-year-old understands what a first cup triumph since 1995 would mean to the city and the squad.


He said: "It's been that so long since Aberdeen won a cup I think the fans would remember you for a long, long time. That's a nice sentimental thing to take with you when you finish your career.


"I'm sure if I still lived in Aberdeen after winning a couple of cups that you'd be long remembered."


Striker Adam Rooney only arrived in the Granite City in January but has made a big impact so far, scoring six goals in eight matches since a move from Oldham.


The attacker experience both highs and lows during his three-year spell in the Highlands suffering relegation in his first campaign with the team.


Rooney's 26 goals in 42 matches were vital as Terry Butcher's team cruised to the First Division title and a return to the big time.


Another 21 goals in 42 games helped earn the Irishman a move to Birmingham City and while things didn't quite work out down south, Rooney sees Sunday's final as an opportunity to make his own mark on the club.


He insists the team's past success won't play on his mind when he steps out in front of 40,000 Dons supporters in Glasgow.


Rooney said: "It really hits you when you come in and see the players that have played for the club and some of the great achievements of the past. That is what you want as a footballer, to strive to play on those big occasions and we want to set our mark on the club."

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