Ryan Porteous reckons watching Hibernian win the Scottish Cup might have been the best day of his life so far.
Now the defender wants to surpass that experience by helping Hibs to more silverware.
The 21-year-old was a schoolboy and yet to sign a professional contract when Hibs ended their 114-year wait for the Scottish Cup by beating Rangers in 2016.
But he was a highly-regarded member of the club’s youth ranks as he watched future team-mates such as David Gray, Lewis Stevenson, Paul Hanlon and Darren McGregor go up to lift the trophy after a dramatic Hampden encounter.
Porteous will be back at Hampden on Saturday as a key member of the Hibs team that will face St Johnstone in the Betfred Cup semi-finals, and his desire to taste success is further fuelled by memories of that day five years ago.
“We want to get some success this season,” the Scotland Under-21 international said. “We are in football to win trophies and get to national cup finals.
“That’s something I have always wanted to do for Hibs, growing up as a fan, is to win a cup. The game on Saturday is a big step to where I want to be personally and the club as a whole.
“It has been a lifelong ambition for me to win silverware for Hibs. Seeing the boys do it in 2016, as a fan being there, was one of the best days of my life, if not the best day. It’s definitely something I want for myself and the team now.
“To see Dave, Lewi, Paul and Daz go up to lift the cup, it’s something that I realised I wasn’t too far away from.
“We were getting to semi-finals, getting to quarter-finals, we just need to get over the line.
“It opens up a lot of doors for people if you bring success, win games, you get rewards for that at the end of the season.
“That’s something the gaffer highlights a lot, he wants us to get rewards for our hard work and our good performances. Losing semi-finals definitely isn’t the way to get rewards.”
Porteous has experienced a cup win for Hibs when he played in the 2018 Scottish FA Youth Cup final.
“That was brilliant,” he said. “I don’t think I really had that much time to look back on it because I was in and about the first team at the time, but looking back it was brilliant to win a cup at Hampden, regardless of what level it was.
“I am really quite proud of that. It’s something I have always wanted to do at first-team level and it’s a big chance just now.”
Hibs have suffered four semi-final defeats – against Aberdeen, Celtic twice and Hearts – since reaching both cup finals in 2016.
Porteous played in the most recent Hampden defeat against Hibernian’s Edinburgh rivals but he does not see their recent semi-final record as a psychological stumbling block.
“It’s come up a few times,” he said. “I don’t think it’s too much of a duck we need to break, it’s not got to that stage.
“It also highlights how well we have done in cup competitions, we are always getting to the latter stages.
“As a club we want to achieve more success regularly and by putting ourselves into finals it gives us a chance.”