SYFA Challenge Cup finals 2012 preview article
Author: James Hunter
On 5th May there will only be one thing on the mind of Hutchison Vale's crop of young footballers. The class of 1999 have made it all the way to the Under 13s SYFA Challenge Cup final and are one football match away from being heroes. However, looking into the future, those players have no shortage of role models from their football club, to give them hope in the dream of becoming a professional footballer.
Vale has always had a good record in terms of creating footballers. Some famous names have played for the Edinburgh outfit.
One of those names is John Collins. The current Director of Football at Livingston and former Hibs manager is probably one of the most famous players to have played for Hutchie. He played for the side between 1980 and 1984 before signing professional at Hibs. His illustrious playing career also saw him play for Celtic, Monaco, Everton and Fulham and pick up 58 caps for Scotland before moving into management.
Rangers’ full back Steven Whittaker is another Hutchison Vale player. He left Vale to join Hibs in 2002 before moving on to Rangers in 2007. Whittaker was an integral player in Rangers’ run to the UEFA Cup final scoring a fine individual goal against Sporting Lisbon in the quarter finals. So far he has 14 caps for the national side.
Another ex-Hibs and Rangers player to have played for Hutchie is Cardiff City striker Kenny Miller. Ironically Miller was born in Musselburgh, Vale’s opponents in the Scottish Cup. He was another who made the move straight for Hutchison Vale to Hibs and his form at the Edinburgh side saw him earn a move to Rangers. He then moved to English side Wolves and sent shockwaves through Scottish football by signing for Celtic. He returned to Rangers via Derby County before earning a megabucks move to Turkish side Bursaspor and is now at English Championship side Cardiff City. His career has seen him become a vital player for Scotland earning over 50 caps and scoring 16 times.
Several ex Vale players are looking forward to a Scottish Cup final of their own, when Hearts and Hibs square off later this month. Hearts’ Andy Driver, Gary Glen and Scott Robinson; and Hibs’ Ian Murray, Danny Galbraith, Garry O’Connor, Paul Hanlon and Leigh Griffiths join numerous other players throughout Scotland and England to have featured for Vale!