As the son of a builder who followed his dad into the family trade, Scott Adam recognises the importance of strong foundations.

And the biggest restoration job the pair have ever embarked on was the project to get the Largs Thistle striker back to the top of the junior game when it looked like his career might be over.

Adam, who is the club’s top scorer for the past two seasons, was just beginning to hit his stride following a move to Glenafton Athletic in 2013 when he suffered a triple-faceted knee injury which left his football future in serious jeopardy.

Adam’s knee shattered as he attempted to close down a ball at Loch Park. And it would be a long time before it was right again.

The 30-year-old said: “I knew it was bad straight away, I felt the crack and it turned out I’d done done my ACL, meniscus and the medial ligament.

It’s the worst you can do, doing the three of them together. “Other injuries are a kick here or a twist there, this felt like an explosion in the knee and it just collapsed. “When I went for my consultation, obviously the first thing you ask is when you can play again but he said don’t even think about it, getting back to your work is more important and that I might be unlikely to play at that level again.”

It was devastating for Adam and he had to watch from the sidelines as the Glens went on a run in the Scottish Junior Cup, all way to the final against Hurlford United at Rugby Park.

After cheering his teammates on up and down the country, the father-of-two’s dream of playing in the showpiece was so close he could touch it – but he still wasn't fully over his injury and that prevented him from featuring.

Gaffer Tommy Bryce named him on the bench so he felt part of the occasion as the Glens were beaten 3-0 at Rugby Park, which Adam admits was a bittersweet experience.

He said: “It’s good because you’re not in the stand, you’re in with the boys. You can try and talk to them, get them up for it, give them wee messages and stuff like that.

“But it's heartbreaking to know you can’t be a part of it and you don’t know if it’s ever going to come back around again.

“Guys play junior all their career and never get to a final. So for me to not be fit to play in it, it was cruel, it wasn’t nice.”

Adam tried to get himself going for Glens but his knee still wasn’t right and he admits he wasn’t playing anywhere near the level he was at previously, where he was knocking in 20-odd goals a season for Ardrossan Winton Rovers and shining for Kirkintilloch Rob Roy to earn the move to Glenafton.

After a loan spell back at Winton Park saw him still unable to get firing again, he told Glenafton he wanted to leave, believing he was finished at junior level.

Adam then took a few months out to decide what was next before tentatively joining up with his hometown team for pre-season – and it turned out the spell playing under his dad Alex at West Kilbride amateurs would save his career.

Adam said: “The amateur thing was new to me so I didn’t know if I’d enjoy it or how the boys would be. It was a totally different setup for me.

Just went along to see if I could get myself fit again and give the knee another chance, have fun playing again.

“After the first couple of months, once I started getting over the initial pains in my knee, I loved it. I loved the camaraderie and getting to play with your mates, and my brother and best pal were in the team as well, it was just brilliant.

“My dad was definitely a lot harder on me than anyone else – it’s the same at work sometimes! He used to tell me I wasn’t fit and I think that was a psychological thing from him, because he knew I’d need to be fitter to compensate for the knee.

“I remember we got beat down at Mossblown and I missed a penalty. I tried to put it down the middle and hit the bar and my dad went mental after the game. He told me not to ever do that again, ‘you should never miss from 12 yards’.

“But we managed to finish second in the league in my first season and then won the Donsport Cup in my second which was really special.

“Bringing silverware back to West Kilbride was just brilliant and the celebrations were great to be a part of and my old man was delighted. By the end of that season I felt that I could probably step back up again.”

Largs boss Stuart Davidson came calling and in the couple of seasons since has been repaid in kind by Adam who notched 25 goals last year and now sits on 21 this season after a double, including a fabulous free-kick which flew in the top corner, in the 4-2 weekend win against Troon.

His dad will proudly watch on this Sunday as, after years of toil to get back to the top, Adam steps out on the biggest stage in junior football – and winning the trophy would make the struggle all feel worth it.

He said: “For me it would mean everything. I’d be over the moon. It would make all the training, the hard winters, the gym through the injury, all worthwhile. After what happened, I never thought I’d be back here, but it’s only a dream scenario if you go and win it.”

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

Scott is pictured above with at trip of awards at last season's Largs Thistle Player of the Year awards with committee man Tommy Scoullar

* Scott Adam has bottled taking a penalty in a final before and he won’t do it again.

The Largs Thistle striker has been his side’s penalty king in the Scottish Junior Cup this season – netting three of his four goals in the competition so far from the spot against Darvel, Kilwinning Rangers and Hurlford United – and will not shirk the responsibility if he’s asked to step up from 12 yards in Sunday’s showpiece.

He’s deferred responsibility before when silverware was on the line and it didn’t turn out well. Adam was playing for West Kilbride amateurs, in a team featuring many of his mates and managed by his father Alex, in the 2017 Donsport Cup Final and won a penalty in the first half.

But after missing his previous spot-kick he let a teammate step up, only to see him fluff his lines and he admits he still never hears the end of it – even although he went on to set up the winner as his team won 2-1.

Fast forward two years and Adam may well be asked to step up on an altogether bigger stage and this time, he will have no hesitation.

He said: “I netted one on Saturday and I’ll be happy to take one in the final if we get one. “I’ve made that mistake before and it still haunts me to this day. I won a penalty and then let my team-mate who wanted to hit it take it and he missed. “All the boys still slag me asking why I never took that penalty. I won’t be doing that again.”

As the spearhead of Largs’ three-pronged attack Adam will be the focal point when Stuart Davidson’s side get the ball forward. Despite facing the might of perennial Junior Cup contenders Auchinleck Talbot, the striker is adamant that his team are confident about their chances.

He said: “It’s a cliché but there’s no doubt they are the benchmark and we’ll need to play well. “If you want to win it you’ve got to go and beat the best. We were underdogs in the quarter-final, nobody expected us to go and beat Kilwinning and we ended up winning 5-0.

“Then we were underdogs in the semi-final against Hurlford and beat them over two legs. We’ll go into this underdogs again and we’ll give it a good crack.”