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  • Grant eyes Cup glory with County

    <img class="imgleft" align="left" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/rossy.jpg">As many of his childhood teammates prepare to defend the Ross-shire Welfare league title for Tain Thistle, Ross Grant prepares to complete a different competitive journey with his current club Ross County, as they eye Scottish Cup silverware for the first time in their 81 year history.<br /><br />Ross is one of the names on Tain’s increasing list of footballing sons, having grown up alongside fellow town players such as Martyn Farquhar, Michael Stein, Daniel Christie and Andrew Durrand � a group who came from similar beginnings at a young age, playing together when the chance arose while also learning under the Soccer 7s program run by Tain Juniors. But for Ross, his talent began at home. <br /><br /><i>“My Dad (John Grant) got me started when I was younger; he had me kicking a ball as soon as I could walk. He used to take me down to the local park or just in the garden. There wasn’t a lot of football played in the primary schools apart from the Soccer 7s.”<br /><br />“I never moved onto elevens with Tain Juniors, as I got picked up by Ross County before I got the chance. I went to a County run event at the Tain Links when I was 12 and a short while after I got a letter through the post asking me to go to Dingwall for training. I’ve never turned back since and my Mum and Dad have both been great � they’ve spent a lot of time travelling and given me a lot to get me where I am today.”</i><br /><br />Coming through the youth ranks, Ross transformed himself into a first team option for the club, making his debut against Brechin City at the age of 17. Ross made the jump from Under 19 to First Team in summer 2009/10, marking the day he signed his first professional contract by scoring County’s third and decisive goal in the Reserve Cup Final victory that evening. When recalling his brightest memories, he reserves special praise for his youth coach, David Kirkwood.<br /><br /><i>“After a couple of months training under David I felt like double the player I ever was. Derek Adams and Craig Brewster have both taught me a lot, as have many of the first team players, but I’d say that David has been the biggest influence on my career.</i><br /><br />Also amongst his fondest memories will be the Staggies’ fateful visit to Hampden Park, when they cast aside competition favourites Celtic to reach the Scottish Cup final last Saturday.<br /><br /><img border="0" align="none" alt="" src="http://www.tainthistle.co.uk/news/data/upimages/rossy2.jpg"><br /><br /><i>”Coming off the bench against Queen of the South earlier in the season was one of my better memories, but beating Celtic has to be the best. The whole season has been really good. I’ve enjoyed training with the first team as there is a really good spirit at the club.”<br /><br />“Dundee United will undoubtedly be favourites for the Cup final when we play them but I believe that will suit us. We have beaten Hibs and Celtic and we have shown what we can do. If we play the way we know we can then anything can happen on the day.”</i><br /><br />Despite the excitement and glamour of the Scottish Cup however, Ross maintains a keen eye on the progress of his home town side, Tain Thistle, as they prepare for another Ross-shire Welfare season, this time as defending champions.<br /><br /><i>“It’s been hard through the winter to keep up with the team as I am involved with County on Saturdays, but I always try to get down to watch the games I can. I always make a point of texting Martyn (Farquhar) to find out the scores!”<br /><br />“The team did very well last year. Tain has a lot of good players, and some great young players. Any time I’ve been down to watch, I’ve always been impressed by Michael Brand as well as players like Martyn Farquhar, James Rice � they have all stood out. If they can keep the players together, they have every chance of winning the title again. ”</i>

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