St Mirren defender Richard Tait knows he might not get another chance to lift a trophy – and has warned his young Buddies to treat Sunday’s Betfred Cup semi-final like it is their last shot at glory too.
Tait was part of the Motherwell team which made it all the way to both domestic cup finals back in 2017/18.
But he was denied a winner’s medal as Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic – the opponent on both occasions – completed their relentless march to a double treble.
Now the wrong side of 30, Tait is well aware this weekend’s last-four showdown with Livingston could well be his last chance to run out at Hampden.
And he told his fresh-faced team-mates not to take it for granted that they will be back at the national stadium any time soon either.
“At my age, I’m 31 now, I’m at the back end of my career now and if I was to win a major trophy then it would definitely make all the ups and downs worthwhile,” he said.
“That’s what I’m thinking. I’m sure there are a few young lads thinking that this happens all the time and that they will be in cup finals again.
“But it’s about drilling it through to them that reaching these occasions are few and far between and especially having the opportunity to go on and win them.
“Do you have to view this as potentially your last chance to win a cup? Hopefully it won’t be but yes.
“Getting to the two finals I did previously, you think, ‘This is great. We’ll be back here next year. It will happen again’ – but it just doesn’t.
“So this may be the last chance I get to win a trophy so we do have to try to grab this opportunity with both hands.”
Tait’s Well team dumped Aberdeen and Rangers out of the Betfred Cup back in 2017 but found Celtic too strong in the final.
It was a similar story in the Scottish Cup as they battled past Hearts and the Dons again – only to fall to Rodgers’ all-conquering Hoops for the second show-piece clash in succession.
But this year’s competition is wide open. Celtic lost to Ross County in the second round, while Saints became the first Scottish team this season to defeat Rangers with their quarter-final triumph.
However, Tait admits that famous win will all be for nothing if Jim Goodwin’s team do not go on to set up a date with either Hibernian or St Johnstone in next month’s final.
He said: “Losing in two finals with Motherwell was heart-breaking.
“We were up against one of the best Celtic teams we had seen for a while so if we get there this time we’ve got a real good chance.
“Every team in the competition is well matched so our main aim is to actually reach the final and see where we go from there.
“Livingston are probably the in-form team in the league barring Rangers, so it will be difficult.
“But the beauty of the cup is that it doesn’t really matter what form you’re in. It’s a one-off match and you’ve got to be up for it.
“We showed that against Rangers. They were on a 27-game unbeaten run and their form went out the window. Hopefully again it will be us going through and not Livingston.
“If you’re not going to win the cup after you beat one of the Old Firm then you might as well not beat them at the time.
“So the feeling after the quarter-final was let’s have a right good crack at winning the cup.”