Highlands & Islands

Final countdown: 10 things on Caley Jags and the Dons

Billy McKay and Russell Anderson Image copyright PA

Aberdeen and Inverness Caledonian Thistle contest the Scottish League Cup Final on Sunday. Here are 10 things that closely link the two clubs.

1. They have shared the same football stadium.

After securing promotion from the First Division to the top flight, Inverness Caledonian Thistle played their homes games at Pittodrie in Aberdeen for part of the 2004-05 season until the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium was upgraded to meet SPL ground criteria.

2. Construction company bosses have played key roles for both clubs.

Stewart Milne, of Stewart Milne Homes, is chairman of Aberdeen.

David Sutherland is a former chairman of Inverness and for 31 years was chief executive of Tulloch Homes. He retired from the house building firm in 2011. He continues to support Caley Thistle as a fan.

3. Long-serving Inverness manager Steve Paterson, who took the Highland club from the Third Division to the First, had a short spell as manager at Aberdeen.

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Image caption Inverness Caley Thistle hope to win their first ever Scottish League Cup trophy
Image copyright PA
Image caption Aberdeen are in their first cup final for 14 years

4. Paterson's assistant at Pittodrie was Duncan Shearer. He was a Dons fans' hero when he played for Aberdeen earlier in his career.

Aberdeen supporters had a chant for him, which was sung to the tune of Walking in a Winter Wonderland with lyrics changed to "walking in a Shearer wonderland".

Shearer, who was also a former Inverness player, later had a spell as caretaker manager at Caley Thistle.

5. Other footballers have played for both teams. Dons who went on to sign for Caley Thistle include Derek Wyness, Russell Duncan and Ryan Esson.

Another player, Craig Brewster, has played for Inverness, been their player-manager and turned out for the Dons as a player during his career.

Aberdeen's current crop of Adam Rooney, Barry Robson and Jonny Hayes all played for Inverness earlier in their careers.

6. Inverness's Highland derby rivals, Dingwall-based Ross County, have former Aberdeen players Derek Adams and Neale Cooper as their manager and assistant manager.

Cooper was in the Aberdeen team managed by Alex Ferguson that beat Real Madrid 2-1 to lift the European Cup-Winners' Cup in 1983.

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Image caption Music plays a part in marking historic games for the Dons and Caley Thistle

7. Sunday's match is a historic occasion for both teams.

It will be Aberdeen's first cup final in 14 years, while Inverness will be seeking to win the trophy for the first time in their history.

8. A musical score is important to inspiring scoring on the pitch.

In the build up to a previous historic match for the Dons - their 1983 European final in Gothenburg - the tune The European Song was written by Harry Barry and sung by the Aberdeen squad.

On Wednesday, a song was released to mark Caley Thistle's appearance in the league cup final. Called ICT, it has been written and performed by rockers Toby Michaels Rolling Damned.

9. Efforts to get fans of both teams to the final have received financial support from the clubs' local authorities - Aberdeen City Council and Highland Council.

10. And finally, and most obviously, both teams and sets of fans - Aberdeen have sold 40,000 tickets and Inverness 7,500 - want to be celebrating victory on the big day.

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