CUMNOCK boss Brian McGinty has said that his players are well aware of the significance of this Friday's Scottish Junior Cup final for the club - and the town.

Nock will take on Rutherglen Glencairn at Broadwood this Friday, June 2 - the Townhead Park side's first appearance in the final of the competition since 2008. 

And though his side have not played a competitive match for nearly three weeks, he says the lack of action has not hindered their preparations.

The Cumnock boss said: “If you could guarantee getting no injuries you would rather have played every Saturday up until the final, but that’s not the way it works.

“After the semi final, being in a decent position in the league, we were able to get up to speed in terms of boys that had been injured and boys that had been playing with injuries.

“There was probably two or three that played in that semi-final that probably shouldn’t have played, if I’m being honest.

“We’ve been able to rest them and get them back to where they should be."

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Nock's final preparations have included frequent training sessions and a friendly last week against Ardrossan Winton Rovers in an effort to keep players match-fit.

Glencairn, by contrast, have been kept busy fulfilling their last few West of Scotland Football League fixtures - the last of which ended in a thumping 6-0 win at home to Kilbirnie Ladeside on Saturday.

And that result has only underlined McGinty's determination not to treat Friday's opponents lightly, even though Cumnock will go into the game as heavy favourites against opponents who play one level below the Townhead Park men.

"Rutherglen are a team we know really well," the Nock boss continued. 

"We played them last year. We know the management and players really well.

“The same way we’ll have no surprises for them, they’ll have no surprises for us.

“We have a great group in terms of attitude and professionalism, so the one thing we won’t do is be complacent because they’re a league below us.

“Rutherglen have got some really good players, and as with all these cup games, it’s on the day – we know if we don’t play the way we can, Rutherglen can beat us.

“On the flip side, there’s a confidence within the group that if we do play the way we can, we know we’ll win.”

And helping inspire the players on, beyond personal and professional pride, is knowing what victory on Friday would mean for the people of Cumnock.

“It means everything to the players from the point of view of winning the trophy, getting a medal, and all the kudos that comes with that," McGinty continued.

“Players want to win, and want to win trophies, so that takes care of itself.

“But I think they understand, and we’ve made them well aware, how much it means to the people round about the club and the town - first and foremost the supporters, but there’s a lot of people that work tirelessly behind the scenes volunteering, helping the club and raising money for the club.

“It’s those people, you see how much it means to them. Rutherglen will be in the same situation, but I think they players realise that – they’re not just trying to win it for themselves, they’re winning it for the whole town. 

“Cumnock’s been going for 111 years - four finals they’ve been in, they’ve only won it twice.

“It’s a generational thing. Just seeing the town coming back from the semi-final, and the boys have been in and around the town with training the last couple of weeks.

"You see the bunting going up, and the flags, you see the support you’re getting from the town, it’s massive."

And the boss had one last message for the fans coming along to Broadwood on Friday.

He said: “It’s just really important to stick with the team, because there will be spells in the game, hopefully not too many, when Rutherglen have the majority of the game and have spells of being the better team.

“The crowd need to stick with the players. I think they know now that they’ve got a club and a group of players who will run through brick walls for the team – that’s how we’ve got there.

“There might be spells where we’re under a bit of pressure, but as long as the crowd stick with us, I’m sure we’ll get the right result and it’ll obviously be a massive moment for the town.”

Friday's final kicks off at 7.35pm - and for those unable to be at Broadwood in person, the match will be broadcast live on BBC Alba.