When James Tavernier held the Scottish Cup aloft not so ago did he pause and look at the early winners of this trophy?

If he did it would surprise him that in those infant days of Scottish football both Rangers and Celtic barely get a mention. In the first dozen years the dominant team of the day was Queens Park but six times the trophy was won by teams from our area: the Vale of Leven, Renton and Dumbarton. Those clubs also feature as runners up six times out of the 12. We have a proud historical connection with our national game.

There is nothing quite like the feeling when your team wins.

But there is another side of our game which is concerning. It is where money rules.

There is something morally skewed in a world where people starve yet millions of pounds are lavished on dubious individuals whose only claim to worthiness is that they can kick a ball.

They become icons to be worshipped and imitated by our children.

Change is inevitable and to resist it sometimes means you prevent a better tomorrow.

But I do yearn for past years when scouts from the big teams watched school football, BB and boys club teams.

Today it’s the youth academies who fuel their young proteges with dreams of glory.

The harsh reality is that most of those unrealistic dreams are quickly dashed.

One young local lad at age 16 was awarded a professional contract with a senior team. He was “ living the dream”. Two years later he is cast aside.

With such an offer on the table and the promise of a footballing future why bother about academic qualifications… who needs such things when stardom calls.

Sadly for every Kieran Tierney and Nathan Patterson there are countless thousands whose dreams quickly turn to ashes.

I have no answers but only questions or to paraphrase Marcellus in the play Hamlet “there is something rotten in the state of football” (Nostalgically I hark back to the “tanner ba” players and kids playing in the back court or under street lamps when football was for the some the route out of poverty).

I must, however, salute the dedication of parents who ensure that their children get every possible chance. The sacrifices made to ensure young people get every opportunity to succeed are often considerable and that is no mean feat.

If they are part of the youth academy scene it can be four times a week to Milngavie, Lennoxtown, Paisley, Greenock or Maryhill.

For others a little further afield to Kilmarnock , Hamilton or Motherwell.

Then of course the delight of away matches to Inverness Caley or Ross County, all in pursuit of that elusive dream.

They deserve a medal!