Aberdeen will be a 'canter' – Mick Kennedy reacts as cup giantkilling boss reunited with Dons

-Credit: (Image: SNS Group)
-Credit: (Image: SNS Group)


East Kilbride boss Mick Kennedy joked facing Aberdeen will be a 'canter' after being reunited with the side he sent crashing out of the Scottish Cup last year with Darvel.

Kennedy pulled off the biggest upset in Scottish Cup history in January 2023 when a 1-0 win with West of Scotland League Darvel in the fourth round inflicted the most humiliating result in Aberdeen's proud history under then boss Jim Goodwin.

Now the 44-year-old will pit his wits against the Dons once more - this time in the group stages of the Premier Sports Cup after Aberdeen were drawn alongside Kennedy's Kilby side, Championship title hopefuls Airdrieonians and League One duo Queen of the South and Dumbarton in Group A.

And Aberdeen could face Lowland League champions Kilby in their first competitive game under new boss Jimmy Thelin when the competition starts in July.

Reacting to the draw, Kennedy laughed at the tall order facing his side and said: "It's a fairly easy group. Aberdeen will be a canter, so that's not the one I'm worrying about, to be fair.

"I'm sure Jimmy Thelin will know a lot about East Kilbride, but seriously it should be an interesting dynamic against their new manager. When you are in these competitions, you want one of the biggest clubs, just like you would in the Scottish Cup. I have a lot of time for Aberdeen and their fans were great with me when I was at Darvel. I hope they go on to have a really strong season.

"When the draw came out it brought a bit of nostalgia but it is a different team now. I know Aberdeen didn't have a great season this year but in terms of stature, they are a massive club in this country so we are happy with that.

"We will treat them seriously. Aberdeen's preparation for it might be a bit different because it is early on for them. I have such a competitive edge to me I want to do well in all the games. It is the most difficult group but I am looking forward to it."

The Premier Sports Cup draw in full is as follows:

Group A - Aberdeen, Airdrie, Queen of the South, Dumbarton, East Kilbride.

Group B - Dundee United, Ayr United, Falkirk, Stenhousemuir, Buckie Thistle.

Group C - Hibs, Queen's Park, Kelty Hearts, Peterhead, Elgin City

Group D - Dundee, Inverness, Arbroath, Annan Athletic, Bonnyrigg Rose.

Jimmy Thelin is the new Aberdeen boss
Jimmy Thelin is the new Aberdeen boss

Group E - Livingston, Dunfermline, Cove Rangers, The Spartans, Forfar Athletic.

Group F - St Johnstone, Morton, Alloa Athletic, East Fife, Brechin City.

Group G - Motherwell, Partick Thistle, Montrose, Edinburgh City, Clyde.

Group H - Ross County, Raith Rovers, Hamilton Accies, Stirling Albion, Stranraer.

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