Cup Draw fateful for Forfar bossWednesday, 26th Oct 2022
26/10/22: JM - “He texted me on Saturday night in reply to mine saying ‘I hope we draw you’. Fate has a funny way.
Monday’s Third Round draw for this season’s Scottish Cup paired Dunfermline Athletic with Forfar Athletic. Underlying that there will be two friends coming head to head to win the prize of a Fourth Round place.
Forfar manager Gary Irvine is described by James McPake as a “very close friend” and the cup draw is apparently the one that Gary was wishing for. The two players played together at Dundee in season 2014-2015 and the following season until James sustained injury in January 2016. Following that they worked together with the youths at Dundee and James explained:-
“Gary has actually attended our training a couple of times in the last couple of weeks. He has been in during the day just watching stuff.
“They had a good result in a tricky tie away to Kilwinning Rangers. They got through that and my first text was to say well done because he has been through a sticky run but he will get it right there.”
Runners Up to Kelty Hearts last season, Forfar Athletic currently sit eighth in League Two having amassed eleven points from eleven games. Their season has improved since managing just one victory in their first eleven fixtures and the Dunfermline boss continued:-
“I think it is credit to the Forfar board that they have stood by him. He has not had a great start to the season, he will say that himself but he has picked it up now. He had a good result with the point at home to Dumbarton and the win away to Elgin City, then he goes and wins in the Scottish Cup.
“Come the end of the season they will be there or thereabouts like they were last season. I am glad that the board has done that with Gary because he is a good footballing man.
“I was actually with him a week and a half ago and he texted me on Saturday night in reply to mine saying ‘I hope we draw you’. Fate has a funny way.
“It will be a tough game, it is a while away but the Scottish Cup is an important competition, we know that. We are glad to be at home, that is all you can ask for.”
The tie will be played on the weekend of 26th/27th November and there is no likelihood of Gary being welcome at Dunfermline training sessions. James confirmed:-
“I have banned him until after that game. The two of us worked well together with the under 18s at Dundee, he is a good young manager.
“I have actually said to him many a time that he is a full time manager in a part time job with the work that he puts in so I am delighted to see that he has started to get a wee turn of fortune with some coming back from injury. I do really hope that he does well this season apart from this one game.”
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