GALA Fairydean Rovers face arguably their biggest game of the season so far on Saturday when East of Scotland Premiership side Sauchie Juniors visit Netherdale in the first round of the Scottish Cup.

The Clackmannanshire side currently occupy eighth place in the league with 10-points from six games, but Gala’s Danny Galbraith knows that the home side are in for a tough 90-minutes.

The former Manchester United and Hibs midfielder said: “The Scottish Cup is a massive tournament for the club and it’s one of the first games the players look for when the fixture lists come out.

“There are no easy games so all you can ask for is a home fixture and we have that against Sauchie. Even though they are outwith our division we are under no illusions and are expecting a tough game.

“A lot of the junior clubs are working their way through the leagues, such as Kelty Hearts and Bonnyrigg Rose and you can see how well Tranent have started in the Lowland League so we will need to be at our best.

Gala Fairydean Rovers players celebrate a goal Photo Thomas Brown

“Hopefully there will be a decent crowd because it’s a big occasion for Gala because a good cup run can generate a lot of money for the club.”

The match will be played on Gala’s new 3G pitch which was replaced as part of a summer upgrade of facilities carried out at the stadium.

And Galbraith believes that the standard of the playing surface will help with the style of play manager Martin Scott is looking for.

He continued: “It’s important that we make our home games tough fixtures to go to for opposition teams and the new pitch is like night and day compared to the old one so we’ve no excuses about the surface.

“We’ve only played one game on it so far but I’m sure it will be good for us, particularly for the style of football we want to play.

“We were all desperate to get back after playing our opening league games away from home and everyone is looking forward to the stand reopening for the Celtic game in October.”

Galbraith is no stranger to the Scottish Cup having played many times in the famous old tournament during his career, including two games against his current manager and assistant manager while at Hibs.

“The first game at Easter Road ended 2-2 then Ross County scored a late goal in the replay to reach the semi-final. Jimmy (Martin Scott) and Steve (Craig) both played for Ross County who actually made the final that year then Jimmy moved to Easter Road where we were team mates. But that was a number of years ago and we were both quite a bit younger.

“So I knew Jimmy having shared a dressing room with him and that played a part in me coming back but regardless of who the manager was, my real motivation was playing for the club having grown up in Gala.”

Gala started the season in style and topped the Lowland League after four games but since then have struggled due to a number of injuries.

Galbraith added: “Every club will have injuries but we have been particularly unlucky. Zander Murray, Kyle Wilkie and Callum Young are all important players for us. Hopefully they will be back soon.”

Gala were due to have played three cup games in a row but their South Challenge Cup game aganst Musselburgh Athletic was cancelled last weekend along with all the other matches.

After Saturday’s Scottish Cup tie, Gala were due to have faced an East of Scotland Cup semi-final against League 1’s Kelty Hearts on Saturday September 24.

The Division One side have a re-arranged fixture they need to fulfill so at the moment, Gala have a free weekend.

The South Challenge Cup tie which was postponed due to the Queen's passing has now been fixed for Saturday October 15.

Gala's festive clash with The Spartans at Netherdale scheduled for Boxing Day has been brought forward to Friday, December 23, kick off 7.45p.m.