Every Falkirk player is striving to reach the SPFL Premiership promotion play-off final, but for Craig Sibbald, it’s more than that. It’s personal.
The 20-year-old played in his 198th game on Tuesday night in the 2-2 draw at Easter Road and can enter the Bairns Hall of Fame with a double celebration next week – a day after his 21st birthday.
Sibbald though, is taking nothing for granted. A place in the final is by no means guaranteed. His place in the second leg and any subsequent games isn’t either, but he cherishes every time he pulls on the navy blue of his hometown team be it at Hampden in three semi-finals and a Scottish Cup final, Brechin’s Glebe Park for his debut or in the charged atmosphere of Easter Road and Westfield for a play-off promotion push.
“The semi-finals all stand-out obviously, but every game is important to me. I am honoured to play every game and I’m happiest when I’m on the park.
“I can still remember my full debut – Brechin away – I nearly got sent off that day! In fact I was quite lucky not to get sent off in my 198th as well! All we need now is a big effort from everyone on Friday.”
Promotion means a lot to Falkirk after six years in the second tier, but entering the Hall of Fame for his boyhood favourites means extra to Sibbald.
“It would mean everything to me, it was my childhood dream just to play with Falkirk. To make 200 games and be inducted into the Hall of Fame would be a dream come true.
“I’ve not been counting them down, but I know I’m not far away from the 200. Hopefully we can get into the play-off final and I get picked and can play in my 200th game.
“It definitely gives me a personal push just to get over the line with that achievement. It’s a wee additional boost for getting the team to the play-off final, and maybe the Premiership with promotion, but with added personal achievement for myself.”
It’d mean a lot to Sibbs, but probably MORE to his mum Tricia who hasn’t missed a Falkirk game in almost a decade.
“The goal is obviously to do it as soon as possible, if I can. Now I’m aware of it, I’ve set that goal and that’s what I want to achieve for myself, and the team has set the promotion goal and that’s what we want too.
“It’d be nice to beat Mark Kerr too – beat the auld yin!”
If Sibbald wasn’t on the park on Tuesday night he’d be in the stands with his friends and family – many of whom are Bairns diehards. “It was an incredible atmosphere, and a great turnout from the Falkirk fans – they were singing the full game, which spurs you on. The cliche is right the 12th man does help .
“It was loud as anything when the goals went in – the roar was brilliant.”