Owain Tudur Jones: Craig Sibbald is key to Falkirk’s chances of Scottish Cup success

Owain Tudur Jones in action for Falkirk in 2014. Picture: Michael Gillen
Owain Tudur Jones in action for Falkirk in 2014. Picture: Michael Gillen

He may only have spent a short time at the Falkirk Stadium, but Owain Tudur Jones saw enough of Craig Sibbald to believe he could hold the key to the Bairns’ Scottish Cup success.

The midfielder, who has played for both Caley and Falkirk, holds the 20-year-old in high regard and reckons he could be the difference between the two at the weekend.

For Falkirk to win the cup they have to play with discipline, in a similar way to how they played in the semi-final

Owain Tudur Jones

Sibbald has again proved himself to be absolutely pivotal to Falkirk’s success this year, and his winners in the quarter and semi finals helped them book a place at Hampden.

Tudur Jones says he hopes the youngster can make a similar impact on Saturday.

He said: “I think Inverness will keep most of the possession and will take the game to Falkirk.

“For Falkirk to win the cup they have to play with discipline, in a similar way to how they played in the semi-final.

“If they can do that and then keep hold of possession when they do have the ball then I think they need to get it to Craig Sibbald.

“I think he’s a great young player, and supporting him is Falkirk’s best chance.”

A knee injury not only brought Tudor Jones’ time with Falkirk to an early end but also forced him to retire from the game altogether.

Before then he’d played for a clutch of clubs across the UK - but it was with Inverness Caley he made his name this side of the border.

He admits that it’s difficult not to be impressed with the job done in the Highlands by former Bairns boss John Hughes.

“I don’t know John Hughes personally but it’s clear how good a job he’s doing with Inverness at the moment,” said the Welshman.

“When I was with the club we achieved top six for the first time but he’s taken the club on to another level.

“Most of the squad are players who were at the club when he took over, so that makes it all the more impressive that you can see he now has those players playing in his style.

“What more can they achieve?

“It’s quite often the case in football that former players or managers can meet their old clubs in big games like this and that will be the case with John Hughes.

“The Falkirk players who’ll hopefully play well in the cup final for their team are players who he’s played such a big part in developing.”

As for Falkirk, Tudur Jones says the previous Championship season was a one off, and the Bairns should be optimistic about next season’s campaign.

“Falkirk are a club who should be looking at promotion but with Rangers, Hearts and Hibs all in the league that was going to be difficult this season,” he said.

“Financially for the club, though, it will have been a good one for them.

“But Falkirk have had enough time now in that league so it’s their time to start thinking about promotion, and I think they have a great chance of that next season.

“For them to go into next season as the Scottish Cup winners would be amazing.”

Both Falkirk and Inverness have gained a reputation for the similar, free-flowing, quick passing styles of football they play.

This should go some way to ensuring the 90 minutes will most certainly be one for the purists - and neutrals - which Tudor Jones is claiming to be one.

“Who’s going to win?

“Well I’ll be watching it at home and whoever does - they’ll be the side I’ll be saying I wanted to,” he joked.