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Ross Draper: Medals mean more than money at Inverness Caley Thistle

24 Jan 2013 00:01
By Michael Gannon

AS Inverness CT gear up to face Hearts on Saturday in the League Cup semi-final, Ross Draper has medals and not money on his mind.
Inverness midfielder Ross Draper Inverness midfielder Ross Draper

Ross Draper claims Caley Thistle’s band of recruits from down south could earn much more in the lower leagues in England than they bank in the Highlands.

But as far as they are concerned it’s not all about the money.

Medals are the currency in football and when the time comes for Draper to hang up his boots the midfielder wants to be looking at prizes rather than admiring bank statements.

He is just one of the pearls Terry Butcher unearthed in the depths of the English game, along with the likes of Billy McKay, Gary Warren and David Raven.

Draper traded Conference-bound Macclesfield for the SPL in the summer.

But as grim as it sounds, these days players can pick up higher wages in the English basement than in the top flight in Scotland.

But the 24-year-old insists there are some things money can’t buy – such as a cup final appearance at Hampden.

Hearts stand in Inverness’s way in the League Cup semi-final at Easter Road on Saturday and Draper knows he has made the right choice heading north.

He said: “There are a lot of big clubs down south who will chuck money at it to get out of the Conference and League Two.

“There is certainly more money down south but I am 24 and there is plenty of time to worry about money later in my career.

“You don’t get many chances to play in cup finals or against the likes of Celtic and Hibs.

“It’s was a no-brainer. You can look back in 30 years and talk about your career and no matter what you have got it won’t mean more than if you are sitting with a medal.

“When the opportunity arose to come here in the summer I never thought twice about it.

“It’s a long way to come and it is such a jump up for guys like myself to be going up against clubs like Celtic after playing for Macclesfield or for Gary Warren coming from Newport and David Raven from Tranmere.

“It’s a big step up but we have a side who are hungry and willing to scrap for each other.”

Meanwhile, Butcher admits when he looked at his budget in the summer he feared he’d be battling relegation rather than fighting for silverware.

The Inverness boss said: “I said to the chairman this was a relegation-battle budget. But our scout Steve Marsella got some good players in and Maurice Malpas has trained them well.

“I’ve done nothing really. It is not about money. It’s what you get from the players. That is the big thing.”

Taken from the Daily Record

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