He was there in 2016 as Hibs won the Scottish Cup against Rangers – and Ryan Porteous wants to become a legend like some of his Leith peers.
Hibs face St Johnstone this afternoon in the 2021 Scottish Cup final, the Easter Road side looking for their first piece of silverware since winning the trophy five years ago. David Gray, Paul Hanlon, Darren McGregor, Lewis Stevenson and Martin Boyle remain from that squad, but Porteous was there too.
He watched on from the stands, but having made the transition from supporter to player, he wants to climb the Hampden steps himself: “This was my dream growing up. That one thing that you really want to try to do is win the Scottish Cup for Hibs.
“Regardless of whether the team did it in 2016 or not, it has always been a life-long goal for me and now that we have put ourselves in that position as a team, it’s something that I definitely don’t want to pass by.
“We know it will be a very tough game, we have seen how good St Johnstone have been this season, especially in high-pressure cup competitions, they have pulled off some fantastic results.
“We know it will be a tough game but we also back our ability and trust ourselves that if we go there, compete, play well, work really hard, hopefully it will be a good day for us. I was in my last year at high school with Hibs U17s and about to go full time.
“It was one of the best days of my life being there as a fan and I can only imagine doing it as a player will be just as good if not even better. On that day, if you had told me that in a couple of years I would be playing alongside these players in national semi-finals and national cup finals, I wouldn’t have believed you. But we are here now.”
Porteous says winning the trophy would be the pinnacle of his career, but still only 22, the defender says there’s still plenty to achieve: “When I first went full-time, I was in awe of players like David Gray, Lewis and Darren, after watching them when I was younger, seeing them become legends to then having to quickly realise these guys were my teammates and colleagues and now my friends.
“It has changed for me, from being a massive fan to realising this is my job now and it is time to step up and try to become a legend like them. I’ve spoken to them many times and heard loads of stories about before during and after the final and it seemed like a special day for everyone involved.
“It is something that club had wanted to achieve more often than they have in the past. It has not been good enough for a number of years. Hibs should be competing in finals and semi-finals every year and trying to get that third place, fourth place in the league every year.
“It’ll be time for new dreams, new goals and new ambition if we do win it. But for now, I’m solely focused on turning my dream into reality.”
NTOF now offers a YouTube channel featuring exclusive interviews, post-match discussion, in-depth debate, and much more – LIKE and SUBSCRIBE and don’t miss any of our videos.