Chris Cadden: Dad lost Youth Cup final with Motherwell - I'm out to go one better

Scott Mullen

Chris Cadden: Dad lost Youth Cup final with Motherwell - I'm out to go one better

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CHRIS CADDEN has spent the early stages of his career following in the footsteps of his father.

Coming through the youth ranks a generation on from his father Stephen back in the Eighties, the talented midfielder has also, despite only being 19, gone on to lift a league trophy with Albion Rovers just like his old man back in 1989.

It is a well-worn path – pardon the pun – that has guided Cadden into Mark McGhee’s first team this season, earning him a new contract and plenty of admirers to go with it.

However, you always want better for your children, and tonight at Hampden a proud father will be watching on from the South Stand, willing his boy to go one step further than he did 29 years ago.

Motherwell will take on Hearts in the Little Big Shot Scottish Youth Cup final in what will only be the Lanarkshire side’s second ever appearance in the showpiece event.

As fate would have it, a young midfielder by the name of Stephen Cadden featured in that 2-1 defeat to Celtic, playing alongside the likes of Jamie Dolan and Scott Leitch.

“He was with Motherwell and they got beat off Celtic. He tells us about it all the time,” said Cadden Jnr, whose twin brother Nicky plays for Airdrieonians.

“My dad was there as well and talks about how good it was. If you go out and win that it’s brilliant on your CV.

“He said it was good experience and I’m sure it’ll be the same this time. I’ve spoken to a couple of the supporters and all the boys with the drum are coming. I can’t wait.”

Cadden’s main concern over the last few weeks was not whether or not he could outdo his old man, but if he would be allowed to play in the first place.

Since breaking into the Motherwell first team at the start of the season, the former Under-20s captain has gone on to make 17 appearances in McGhee’s team, being a stand out in near enough every one of them.

It meant the teenager faced a sweat to see if his gaffer would allow him to play in tonight’s final, which will also be broadcast live on BBC Alba.

“I was worried about it because I have been playing the u20s for a few years and it’s always been a goal of mine to get to the final.

“I was pestering Crags [Stephen Craigan, U20 manager] to ask the gaffer if I could play. I mean, I’m a young boy. I can play Saturday, Wednesday and Saturday. I’ll be okay.

“We have a lot of first team boys and that’s crucial.

“It’s a big occasion and when you go into the first team it’s just the same. Ben Hall, Dom Thomas and me have experience of handling that so it will be good to get in and pass it on to the other boys.”

As Cadden alluded to, Craigan has a wealth of first-team experience to choose from as he looks to get by a Hearts team to deliver Motherwell’s first ever Youth Cup win.

Aside from the energetic midfielder, the Northern Irishman’s most experienced head is arguably centre-half Ben Hall, who has featured 15 times in claret and amber in this season’s Premiership.

"My family won't come over for the Hearts game. It's on BBC Alba and it's my mum Rosemary's birthday that day as well, so they'll be sitting at home watching it,” said the 19-year-old.

"The fact I've played a few first-team games and games in front of crowds will be a help for me on Wednesday, hopefully. Games like those are probably the most pressure I'd have had to deal with as a young boy but hopefully nerves won't affect us.”